2016 (Legal Ethics) Bar Exam Questions: Question 18

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Legal Ethics Instructions; 2016 Mercantile Law questions: 12345678910111213141516171819 and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

-XVIII-

City Prosecutor Phillip prosecuted the criminal case for the murder of the city mayor against the accused Reynaldo, the losing mayoralty candidate. There was no private prosecutor and Phillip personally handled the prosecution of the case from arraignment up to the presentation of the evidence for the accused. Before the trial, Alfonso approached Phillip and confessed that he is the killer of the city mayor and not Reynaldo. When the case was called for trial, Phillip manifested before the court that Alfonso approached him and admitted that he killed the mayor and asked the court for whatever proper action it may take. The counsel for the accused took advantage o f the presence o f Alfonso, who was placed on the witness stand and elicited testimonial evidence. The court eventually acquitted Reynaldo. The heirs of the city mayor filed a disbarment case against Phillip on the ground that it is his duty to see to it that the criminal is convicted and punished. They believe Reynaldo is the real killer and Alfonso was only a fall guy and that Reynaldo could not have been acquitted were it not for the disclosure of Phillip. Phillip argues that the City Prosecutor is not for the offended party or the heirs of the victim but it is his main duty that “justice be done.” Did Phillip commit any violation ofthe CPR? Explain. (5%)

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