SC lost credibility long ago; IBP irrelevant
Lawyer Stephen Monsanto can complain all he wants against the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and lawyer Estelito Mendoza (Inquirer, 12/26/11), but that will never get him anywhere. Since time immemorial, the IBP has been controlled by an elite group of lawyers whose biggest pastime is playing the game of sycophancy toward the powers-that-be inhabiting “Mt. Olympus” in Padre Faura Street, Manila. The rarest breed of gutsy lawyers who once led the IBP and found fault with the Supreme Court had suddenly become outcasts—either suspended from law practice or disbarred!
On the other hand, the thing with Mendoza is, he cannot seem to survive litigation without “influence-peddling”—else, why does he have to resort to sub rosa (secret) overtures? No doubt it is a habit he acquired and perfected during martial law. Monsanto wondered why that “aberrant practice” still persists to this day. That’s because nobody powerful enough has come out to denounce it. Monsanto’s voice is but a squeak in the wilderness—so is mine here.
The IBP, supposedly the collective voice of all law practitioners in this country, should speak up to protect and promote the legitimacy of their practice. Keeping its silence about so gross a perversion of justice has rendered its existence irrelevant. Worse, it has accepted the glacier-paced administration of justice as an unalterable fact in this benighted country and no longer seems concerned with it.
Now, it has the gall to waste our money on so inane an exhortation for vigilance lest our people lose all faith in the judicial system? Here’s a flash: The people have lost it a long time ago. That very expensive full-page advertisement (Inquirer, 12/28/11—paid for by “losers” like us!) was a joke. It was amusing to see it as just another lame attempt to curry favor with the Supreme Court. The bottom line is, what else is left to justify the IBP’s continued existence?
—GEORGE DEL MAR,
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