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Statement of the IBP in support of the integrity and independence of the Supreme Court of the Philippines

By Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)
August 17, 2023

In a television interview on One News Channel, a disbarred lawyer claimed that his disbarment is part of Justice Marvic Leonen’s alleged vendetta against him. He likewise claimed that he was targeted by Justice Marvic Leonen because he is a BBM supporter.

Such claims are baseless, malicious and untrue. The Supreme Court is a collegial body. It takes at least one (1) division, or the Court sitting en banc to render a valid judgment. Statements that give the impression that Justices of the Supreme Court can be influenced by one Justice, or that the Supreme Court’s decision is tainted by politics are most unfair and contemptuous.

The disbarred lawyer’s claim that he can re-apply or file a motion for reconsideration “kapag namatay si Justice Leonen” is equally contemptuous.

More troubling is the disbarred lawyer’s claim that some people in the Supreme Court actually called him the day before his disbarment was announced to the media. The call was supposedly to convince him to request Pres. BBM to call the Supreme Court to withhold the issuance of the decision ordering his disbarment. He insinuates that certain personalities in the Supreme Court wanted to leverage his disbarment for certain favors from the President. Such claims are malicious, disrespectful and also contemptuous.

His tirades, insinuations and accusations have no place in a civilized and democratic country like the Philippines.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) abhors such unprecedented conduct of a former lawyer. The IBP stands by the Supreme Court as it continues to discharge its constitutionally guaranteed procedures and jurisdiction on matters relating to the discipline of errant members of the Bar.

If there ever was any uncertainty about whether this person deserved to be disbarred, his television interview is clear proof that the Supreme Court made the right decision.

The IBP stands squarely behind the Honorable Supreme Court, particularly the Court’s integrity and independence in the discharge of its functions.