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SC suspends ex-presidential spox Trixie Cruz-Angeles over the use of intemperate language

By Yoniel Acebuche Published Jul 19, 2023 6:36 pm

Former Presidential Spokesperson Trixie-Cruz Angeles was suspended by the Supreme Court from practicing law for six months.

The decision comes after Cruz-Angeles was found guilty of violating Rule 9.01, Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR), the old code of conduct for lawyers, for using “grossly abusive, offensive, and improper language” in a pleading she and her co-counsel Atty. Ahmed Paglinawan filed in court in 2016. 

Paglinawan, meanwhile, was reprimanded.

The two are likewise "sternly warned" that a repetition of the same or similar act in the future will be dealt with more severely, as per the decision of SC. 

The SC also noted that Cruz-Angeles didn't appeal that they made the statements that were mentioned.

"Hence, the imposition of suspension from the practice of law for a period of six months is in order," it said.

In 2016, Atty. Roderick E. Manzano filed a complaint against Atty. Cruz-Angeles and Atty. Paglinawan for allegedly using intemperate language in the pleading they filed on behalf of their client.

“From the foregoing, it is clear that respondents employed language, which is grossly abusive and offensive, which is not befitting the dignity of the legal profession. Hence, the imposition of disciplinary liability is warranted,” the SC said. 

Manzano said the two attorneys made statements such as: "In the Plaintiff's amended complaint, these are basically the lies Plaintiff spewed," "this particular allegation is dangerous, irresponsible and screaming 'self-serving' and 'hearsay. Without a doubt, it must also be stricken. Come on. Anyone can readily see that the supposed witness is lying through her teeth."

The lawyers also said: "She is an INC [Iglesia ni Cristo] patsy. She is Eduardo Manalo's pawn."

This isn't the first time Cruz-Angeles was suspended from practicing law. In August 2016, the SC also slapped her and her law partner Wylie Paler with a three years suspension for violating the Code of Professional Responsibility over a complaint filed against her in 2003.

SC said they were remiss in their duty as legal counsel in the Dongga-as annulment case, but Cruz-Angeles insisted that she had performed her duties properly and added that the client had neglected to give his ex-wife's address and to submit enough supporting documentation.

The IBP Investigating Committee proposed a four-month ban from the practice of law after finding Angeles and Paler administratively accountable.

Before the high court decided to increase it to three years, the IBP Board of Governors increased the penalty to a two-year ban.