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PAO-QC.[9] Moreover, perusal of the Answer filed by Capinpin in Civil Case No. Q9315901 before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City (RTC-QC), specifically, paragraphs
13 and 14, shows that Capinpin was present inside the bank, contrary to her claims
that Atty. Espiritu left her in the car and prevented her from talking to bank personnel.
[10] More importantly, the Answer was signed by Atty. Dionisio Maneja, Jr. as Capinpin's

Atty. Espiritu validly acquired Capinpin's properties, when the latter offered them for
sale as she was contemplating on settling down in Germany.[12] They negotiated and
agreed on a reasonable price.[13] In 1994, Capinpin requested to repurchase the lot,
but Atty. Espiritu did not acquiesce to her offer. Thereafter, from 1995 to 2015, they
would see each other from time to time, and Capinpin even sought legal advice from
Atty. Espiritu, but he was never retained as counsel.[14] Finally, Atty. Espiritu denied
having met Capinpin at Seahorse Hotel because, on February 8, 2014, since he was in
Quezon City with a client – Mr. Manuel Utulo – and, in the afternoon was in a Financial
Rehabilitation Seminar at Max's Restaurant in Quezon City Circle.[15]
On June 22, 2016, the Investigating Commissioner of the Commission on Bar Discipline
of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) rendered a report, recommending the
dismissal of the complaint for lack of merit,[16] thus:
After a thorough and exhaustive evaluation of evidence, the undersigned
Commissioner recommends that the complaint be DISMISSED for lack of
Firstly, respondent worked with PAO from July 1990 to April 1994. Contrary
to complainant's assertion, documents do not suggest that respondent acted
as counsel for Leolenie R. Capinpin in both civil cases involving her and Lydia
Sol (Civil Case No O-91-10383 pending before Branch 76 of Quezon City),
and BDO (Civil Case No. Q-93-15901). It must be noted that respondent has
Special Power of Attorney ("SPA" for brevity) for these cases where he acted
as her attorney-in-fact, not as counsel of record. x x x.
Are Public Attorney Office Lawyers allowed to render such work in court as a
mere Attorney-in-Fact and not as PAO lawyer? This is an issue better
resolved by the Public Attorney's Office under its own rules and regulations.
Clearly, complainant neither alleged "conflict of interest" as basis of her
complaint, nor proved the same.
If respondent is not the counsel of complainant, who is her counsel? Is it
Atty. Dionisio Maneja? The undersigned believe so. Even assuming that Atty.
Maneja is not authorized by complainant when he filed her Answer in Court,
we must take note that complainant ratified his acts when on February 14,
1994, the Honorable Court in Civil Case No. Q-93-15901 for "Sum of Money
with Preliminary Attachment" granted the "Joint Motion to Dismiss" filed by


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