ILOILO City – A disbarment complaint has been filed against Mayor Jocelyn “Joy” Legaspi Posadas of Valderrama, Antique and daughter Atty. Charmaine Joy Posadas Filarmeo before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines by former client Solexar Energy International Inc. The mother and daughter have been charged in an P11-million estafa case.
“Atty. Jocelyn Posadas took advantage of her position in the government while her daughter Atty. Charmaine Filarmeo took advantage of her knowledge of the law to the damage and prejudice of the government and their client,” part of the disbarment complaint read.
Upon the recommendation of Solexar former Board of Director Member Dr. Louie S. Tirador, Mayor Posadas offered her services to the complainant while she was still working as Attorney V at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), a position which prohibited her from engaging in private practice, according to the complainant.
To circumvent the prohibition, claimed Solerax, Mayor Posadas conspired with her daughter Atty. Filarmeo who fronted as counsel and signed the agreement with Solexar even though it was Mayor Posadas who was receiving the money and signing the vouchers.
The money and vouchers were for the conversion of a 55-hectare agricultural land in Tigbauan, Iloilo. Solexar intended to use the said land to build a solar power plant to help make electricity rates cheaper and more accessible.
The complaint claimed that Mayor Posadas used her position and influence in the DAR, the same agency authorized to process the land conversion, to secure and ensure the deal with Solexar.
Mayor Posadas received money amounting to P22 million, P11 million of which remained unaccounted, the complaint asserted.
The conversion would have been done sooner if not for the gross negligence committed by Mayor Posadas and Atty. Filarmeo in handling the land conversion, added the complaint. In fact, it was Solexar which completed the conversion, it stressed.
A resolution from the Iloilo City Prosecutor’s Office for the estafa case filed by Solexar stated that “there is no dispute that respondents, as lawyers of the corporation, received money for payment of certain fees. However, they failed to promptly account how the money was spent. This raises the presumption the respondents misappropriated the money for their own personal use and benefit.”
The estafa case is now being heard by the Regional Trial Court Branch 37 in Iloilo City.
According to the complaint, the failure of Mayor Posadas and her daughter to account and return the money of Solexar and the fact that the conversion was unnecessarily delayed because of their negligence violated the Code of Professional Responsibility and their oaths as lawyers which are grounds for disbarment.
Also, in the course of the engagement, a case of double dealing, the complainant stated, Mayor Posadas also received separate amount of more than P11 million from the Sellers of the Property during the time that she was working for Solexar, the buyer.
The complaint also alleged that Mayor Posadas once threatened to kill the board members of Solexar should they decide to have her and her daughter disbarred.
“Kong ipa-disbar nila kami sang bata ko, ipapatay ko sila (If they will file disbarment case against me and my daughter, I will have them killed), a police blotter from the Iloilo City Police Station 4 read, as cited in the disbarment complaint.
Mayor Posadas and her daughter are also facing charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
A hold departure order has also been issued against the two by the Iloilo City Regional Trial Court for fear that they might leave the country and escape prosecution.
In their counter-affidavits submitted to the Iloilo City Prosecutor’s Office for their estafa case, Posadas and Filarmeo denied the charge./PN