Lawyer Lorna Kapunan has been indicted for unjust vexation by the Department of Justice (DoJ) for statements she had made against UST Law Dean Nilo Divina in connection with the hazing of Horacio “Atio” Castillo.
The DoJ Resolution dated 28 August 2018 said that Kapunan’s statement that Dean Divina was being “an obstructionist to justice” and her claim that as the dean of the UST Faculty of Law, he “appears to be above the law” has undoubtedly caused “annoyance, irritation, vexation, torment, distress or disturbance to the mind of the complainant.”
Unjust vexation is a crime punished under Article 287 of the Revised Penal Code and is considered a form of coercion.
When reached for his reaction, Divina said: ”I have already been vindicated with the final dismissal of the criminal complaints against me by the family of Atio. This indictment against the Castillo family’s lawyer further proves that I have been similarly wronged through their false accusations. Atty. Kapunan has not only committed a crime by spreading falsehoods against me but has also seriously violated the Code of Professional Responsibility of lawyers.”
“One can be an effective advocate without resorting to below-the-belt tactics and spreading rumors disguised as facts. That is highly unbecoming of a lawyer,” added Divina.
Divina’s complaint had stemmed from statements made by Kapunan during the height of the investigation of Atio’s death as a result of supposed hazing by certain Aegis Juris fraternity members. Divina, an alumnus of the fraternity, was included in the charges for purportedly coddling his “brothers.”
Divina had vehemently denied any knowledge of the hazing incident and himself had openly expressed outrage over the incident. The DoJ had earlier dismissed the criminal complaints against him for lack of evidence.