RENATO Bondal, one of those who accused Vice President Jejomar Binay of building an overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2, is facing a disbarment complaint for allegedly committing bigamy.
In a two-page complaint filed at the Supreme Court dated August 11, 2014, Eduardo Eridio of Barangay Palanan, Makati City (Metro Manila), claimed that Bondal contracted two marriages –first with Rutchie B. Barcelona and later with Janice N. Ramos. Eridio said Bondal married Barcelona on March 19, 1997 before Makati City Metropolitan Trial Court Judge Felicidad Navarro-Quiambao. On July 2, 2011, the lawyer wedded Ramos at the Malate Catholic Church in Manila.
Eridio said Bondal should be disbarred for abandoning his first wife.
“Abandoning his first wife and children and taking a second wife 20 years younger than him clearly shows that he is leading a life not in accordance with the highest moral standards of the community,” the complainant noted.
Eridio used as evidence copies of the marriage certificates of Bondal and a certification from the National Statistics Office signed by Lisa Grace Bersales, national statistician and civil registrar general, showing the two marriages registered in the database covering the period 1945-2014.
He said Bondal “tried to mislead the public by using a second name ‘Lou’,” as shown on the second marriage certificate, but in both records, his birthday, address and parents’ names were identical.”
“As officers of the court, lawyers must not only be of good moral character but must lead a life in accordance with the highest moral standards of the community,” Eridio added.
Under Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, a member of the Bar may be removed or suspended for any deceit, malpractice or other gross misconduct, grossly immoral conduct or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.
Under the law, the crime of bigamy is punished with prision mayor or imprisonment from six years to 12 years.
Bondal, however, denied the accusations.
He said his first wife went to the United States and became an American citizen and eventually divorced him. Hence, he became single and was allowed to remarry.