House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez admitted to having six children out of wedlock on March 30 during a radio interview.
“Nung first marriage ko, meron akong 2 anak. ‘Yung second, apat (na anak). Tapos meron pa, dalawa,” Alvarez said during his DZMM Teleradyo interview.
He does not have kids with his current partner, recently revealed to be a woman named Jennifer Maliwanag Vicencio. Her identity was
Alvarez added that he prefers to be honest instead of getting the lies all tied up.
He said that he is willing to face disbarment complaints over his extramarital affairs.
He, however, defended his ways, saying: “Kung meron silang nakikitang ethical issues, ipapa-disbar ako for having a girlfriend? Eh ‘di go ahead, mag-file ng complaint! Baka walang matirang abogado!”
The Speaker said that he and his legal wife, Emelita Apostol Alvarez, have been estranged.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines remindeded lawyers that they should always observe the highest moral standards.
“The IBP has always and shall always maintain the highest standards of morality, behavior and professionalism among its members. As members of a noble profession and as officers of the court, lawyers are held to a higher standard than most and these standards are seriously enforced by the Supreme Court,” the IBP said in a statement on March 31.
Lawyers engaging in an extramarital affair can be disbarred, as Rappler noted, based on the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR) for lawyers. The code’s Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 said that “a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.”
Rule 7.03 of Canon 7 said that “a lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.”
Rappler also cited Section 27 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, which states that “member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court (SC) for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such osffice, grossly immoral conduct.”
These were the same legal bases used by the Supreme Court when it disbarred former PBA commissioner Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala over his extramarital affair.
Consequences for extramarital affairs
The Ombudsman has recently suspended Altavas, Aklan Mayor Denny Refol for six months over his extramarital affair. He was found administratively guilty of disgraceful and immoral conduct for having a child with his mistress.
The Ombudsman-Visayas’ Public Assistance and Corruption Prevention Office launched a fact-finding investigation on Refol’s affairs after receiving a tip from an anonymous complainant. The team found a live birth, where Refol supposedly acknowledged the child as his, born in 2007.
Just like Alvarez, Refol defended himself by saying, “at present, there are only a few public officials who have no mistresses.” The ombudsman dismissed Refol’s claim that he already stopped seeing his mistress, even after his affair became public knowledge because he publicly displayed it as well.