Prominent lawyer questions decision to renew IBP card: “I look at my IBP card again….now I ask the question: IS IT WORTH IT?”

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has been under fire on social media after giving Peter Joemel Advincula aka ‘Bikoy’ a venue to stage his first public appearance following his video episode series linking members of the presidential family to Chinese drug syndicate.

The most vocal from its ranks (IBP) is none other than lawyer Bruce Rivera, a prominent LGBT member and TV host, who took to Facebook expressing his disappointment at IBP.

If you’d recall, IBP served as the of venue Peter Joemel Advincula’s press conference whom he said has serious credibility and even logical flaws that even a simple minded lawyer like himself can ascertain even from his UNSIGNED statement.

Rivera admonished IPB for that and he believed that as an institution, the IBP must be very careful not to allow being used by its leaders to politicize an otherwise non-political body. The IBP color is maroon or violet which is the color of the legal profession. It is not red or blue and it will never be yellow.

You may read Bruce Rivera’s full FB post below.

DEAR INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES

First, let me remind this august body that President Duterte, Inday Sara, Mans Carpio are members as well as myself. In fact, I am lifetime member 07707. I treat my membership with pride and I just renewed my iBP card last month.

I understand when the IBP would make statements against President Duterte in many issues because sometimes justice as a concept is strict and uncompromising which may run counter to several of PRD’s statements.

In a nation of free ideas, the IBP as an institution has the right to defend the Bill of Rights and peoples freedoms. However, the IBP has to be non-political and non-partisan and the Supreme Court has ruled on this matter. This is precisely on the premise that lawyers do not share the same political views albeit the same yearning for justice. The legal professionals are advocates and expect to take an legal side or issue hence the body that makes us mandatory members when we pass the Bar should avoid taking sides if it expects all its members not to be disillusioned.

In times of political turmoil, the IBP is expected to side with justice. Hence, the right to life is an unquestionable right. The right not to be killed is a right afforded an accused and the IBP has the obligation to defend. However, in defending this right, the IBP must also remember that the law-abiding citizens which constitute a great majority of the society also possess the same right not to be killed by criminal elements and the state as well. After all, laws are primarily enacted to protect those who abide by it,

However, law is always based not just on natural justice but LOGIC as well. When the leadership of the present IBP allows its seal and its facilities to be used as a staging ground to give credence to Joenel Advincula aka Bikoy, it validates his story without even explicitly admitting. Why? Because the IBP should not be political and allowing Bikoy, a self-confessed criminal and scam artist to publicly accuse a constitutionally elected President and his family of serious drug offenses a week before elections gives the public a chilling reminder of the IBP’s endorsement of the veracity of his story.

The problem is that Advincula’s story has serious credibility and even logical flaws that even a simple minded lawyer like myself can ascertain even from his UNSIGNED statement. As an institution, the IBP must be very careful not to allow being used by its leaders to politicize an otherwise non-politcal body. The IBP color is maroon or violet which is the color of the legal profession. It is not red or blue and it will never be yellow.

Many of the silent members of the IBP are supporters of the President and yet, we have not called out the IBP when it issues a direct challenge on him because many of us do respect the stand of the institution. But in yesterday’s exercise, I cringe looking at the IBP logo in the backdrop of Advincula. It gave credibility to an otherwise illogical, incredulous and seriously flawed story.

And I look at my IBP card again….now I ask the question: IS IT WORTH IT?

Bruce V. Rivera

Your comment?

Source: Atty. Bruce Rivera

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