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IBP talk vs corruption is just all talk

12:42 AM February 04, 2015

We just received copies of the IBP Journal Special Issue No. 3 dated September 2013 upon payment of our firm’s lawyers’ annual dues for this year. (Yes, that’s how late any issue of the IBP Journal always comes out.) The things written there are no longer current news but historical accounts!

As a paralegal of the law firm, I make it a point to read everything in the IBP Journal, among many other legal matters. The lead article in that issue caught my attention: “IBP Stand Against Corruption.” “Gravely concerned with the breakdown of the Constitutional principle that public office is a public trust,” the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) called for the full prosecution of the “raiders of the nation’s treasury.” It was referring to the Disbursement Acceleration Program, which it petitioned the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional—an issue already resolved in its favor a long time ago (News, 7/1/14).

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So, let’s dig up some bits of history. Did the IBP express any outrage against an anomaly far more revolting than politicians robbing the people blind? More important than losing money to the thieves in government is being robbed of our national soul and seeing it sold to the devil!

I am referring to one of the more explosive issues involved in the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona: Perks and privileges (via “platinum cards”) enjoyed by many public officials in high places (“PAL union urges senators to allow testimony of Corona perks,” News, 2/24/12). There were persistent speculations that, aside from Corona, the witness also had the goods on other members of the judiciary in high and lower places.

Unfortunately, the Senate impeachment tribunal ruled such issue irrelevant as bribery was not part of the charges. But did not the IBP, on its own initiative, ever think of digging deeper into that issue? It was a controversy that involved the very heart and soul of the administration of justice, the possible corruption in the judiciary’s highest level. Apparently, the IBP leadership did not want to “offend” the “gods of Padre Faura” and slunk away from that issue. It is lamentable the nation never got to know what “courtly” shenanigans that witness might have exposed. Thus, all that IBP talk against corruption is just really that, all talk!

 

—JANNO MARKO MONTECRISTO, [email protected]

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TAGS: Disbursement Acceleration Program, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Renato corona
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