The IBP speaks with a ‘forked tongue’
It’s disgusting how the Integrated Bar of the Philippines always makes “sipsip” to the judges and justices whenever the opportunity presents itself (“Produce hard evidence, IBP, solons dare Trillanes,” Front Page, 4/15/15). As everybody knows, the lawyers who run the IBP constantly hobnob with those “who preside over the lives and fortunes of litigants.” Having easy access to them, they are perceived as the most favored practitioners.
In its latest posturing, the IBP was said to be offering “to help Trillanes and other complainants against judicial corruption if they can present the hard evidence.” The IBP was, of course, speaking with a forked tongue. What in fact it was telling Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV was, he’s got no evidence and so he should stop shooting his mouth off!
Even if Trillanes has credible evidence to prove his charges, we do not think the IBP really gives a hoot. If its past actuations are any indication, it will no doubt come blindly again to the defense of the magistrates concerned. They certainly know which side of their bread is buttered!
We need only recall that Philippine Airlines employee who exposed via an affidavit the “travel perks and privileges” enjoyed by members of the judiciary (foremost of whom being some justices of the Supreme Court) at the height of the impeachment trial of former chief justice Renato Corona. Unfortunately, the Senate barred that witness from testifying because “bribery was not included in the charges”! Did the IBP voice any concern about the possibility that the judiciary might really be “rotten to the core”? No, instead, it dismissed the whole impeachment process as nothing but a vicious, politically motivated “attack against the independence of the judiciary”!
And when rumors about a certain “Ma’am Arlene” peddling decisions of honorable judges and justices to the highest bidders broke out in the open, were the IBP big guns bestirred to get to the bottom of that scandal? If so, where is its report? If not, why the hell not? Inordinate delays in court cases give rise to the suspicion that judges and justices are just waiting for the “right price” to come their way. Lawyers out of the elite loop have been asking why they keep paying dues to an organization that does so little to improve the administration of justice.
Come to think of it, has the IBP—and for that matter, the Philippine Constitution Association—ever taken a stand on the Supreme Court’s blatant defiance of the constitutional mandate to decide cases within two years, per Article VIII, Section 15 (1)? That command is carved in stone and if the incumbent justices feel they are too old and feeble to follow it, by all means they should resign and let others do the job! To be honest about it, almost everyone points to the Supreme Court as the one hugely responsible for the detested delays in the delivery of justice!
—ARNULFO M. EDRALIN, firstname.lastname@example.org
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