In his complaint filed before the city prosecutor here, Dallas Maxell Drake, 72, an Australian residing at Sta. Maria subdivision here, identified the respondent as James E. Curtis-Smith.
Curtis-Smith could not immediately be reached for comment as of press deadline.
Curtis-Smith is accused of violating “Republic Act No. 10175 also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 specifically Section 4, Paragraph 4 in relation to Articles 353 and 355 of the Revised Penal Code (Libel) and Usurpation of Authority and/ or Illegal Practice of Law Profession.”
In his complaint, Drake described Curtis-Smith as an “Australian citizen and the immediate past President of Angeles City Returned and Services League, Inc. (RSL) – Angeles City Sub Branch with residence address at 40-20A Don Eleuterio Ave., Barangay Pulung Maragul, Angeles City.”
He said RSL “was organized and established in the Philippines to ensure the well-being, care, compensation and commemoration of serving of the retired Australian citizen defense force members and their dependents who choose to stay in the Philippines.”
Drake said that in December 2015, Curtis-Smith came out with an online newsletter on the RSL website accusing him of “failing repeatedly to reconcile merchandise stocks on hand with receipts of cash, and ordered stock often without the required authority.”
He said Curtis-Smith’s publication “was deliberately done to tarnish my reputation for the respondent to unilaterally control and take over the management of RSL-Angeles Sub Branch and exclude my nomination” for the new set of officers of the local RSL.
Drake also accused Curtis-Smith of “usurpation of authority and/or Illegal practice of law profession.”
“Respondent Smith is introducing himself as a lawyer and practices law profession to all the foreigners here in Angeles City, especially the Australian residents. He charges professional fees to his clients here in Angeles City,” Drake’s complaint said.
Drake said the respondent “even notarized my statement in the matter of estate of Lorna Joy Reynolds , who is my mother.”
“He engages in the practice of legal profession without any legal authority whatsoever here in the Philippines in violation of Article 177, Revised Penal Code as amended,” the complaint noted.
The complaint also sought from Curtis-Smith damages worth no less than P1 million and P100,000 lawyer’s fees.