2 IBP execs face disbarment over ‘Bikoy’ fiasco

MANILA A party-list group on Friday filed a disbarment complaint before the Supreme Court (SC) against two officials of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for allowing its office in Ortigas, Pasig City to be the venue of the press conference of Peter Joemel Advincula 'alias' Bikoy earlier this week.

The Kabalikat Party-list, led by Tomas Jose C. Cabrido, named Abdiel Dan Elijah S. Fajardo, in his capacity as president of the IBP, and lawyer Domingo Egon Q. Cayosa, in his capacity as vice chairman and incoming president of the organization .as respondents.

"It is respectfully submitted that respondents are guilty of the instant administrative charges because of their conduct which constitutes 'counselling' or 'abetting' Advincula in committing an illegal act," the complaint said.

"While Advincula was uttering seditious words or speech during his press conference, the logo of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines can be seen at the background, which creates the impression that the Integrated Bar of the Philippines is supporting Advincula's press conference," the complaint said.

The group cited a possible violation of Rule 1.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which states that "A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system," the group said.

In a press conference on Monday, "Bikoy" admitted authorship of a video linking the family of President Duterte to the illegal drug trade.

Fajardo 'politicizing' IBP

Solicitor General Jose Calida on Thursday called on Fajardo to resign from his post for using his position to pursue his personal political agenda.

In a statement, Calida said Fajardo "has turned the IBP into a highly politicized organization, when it should advance the rule of law and stand for truth and justice."

"He is a disgrace to the IBP. He does not speak for all the IBP but his actions reflect badly on the organization and consequently, the legal profession," the top government counsel said.

Calida also echoed the stand of the IBP's Davao City Chapter, which criticized Fajardo for allowing the organization's national office to be used as a staging area for Advincula's press conference.

According to the IBP Davao City Chapter, Bikoy does not deserve the IBP's support since it is a non-partisan organization not established to cater to political interests.

After allowing Bikoy to hold a press briefing, the IBP Davao City chapter on Wednesday rejected Advincula's request for free legal assistance, saying the latter failed to meet the operational manual for standards of the IBP.

"He should be reminded of the purpose of the IBP, which is to promote the best interests of lawyers and the courts. The IBP should be in the forefront in advocating obedience to the law," Calida said, adding that Fajardo's action "betrays his intention to make the organization a venue for his political aspirations."

Cayosa, in a radio interview Tuesday, clarified that the group's board was not informed of Advincula's press conference at their building.

The Solicitor General claimed that this is not the first time that Fajardo has sought to meddle in politics.

He said the IBP president earlier urged the SC to reverse its quo warranto decision against ousted Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency