BAGUIO CITY – The Supreme Court (SC) has referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) the disbarment complaint against Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila De Lima and Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
Usually, when a disbarment complaint is filed with the SC, it was either referred to the Office of the Bar Confidant or the IBP, said SC Spokesman and Court Administrator Atty. Jose Midas Marquez.
But in this case, Marquez said, it was referred to the IBP “so that it can conduct an impartial assessment or evaluation and then give its recommendation to the Supreme Court.”
Private lawyer Agustin Sundiam has asked the SC to take disciplinary action against De Lima and Lacierda for their alleged utterances and remarks on national television where they called Chief Justice Renato Corona a lawless “tyrant.”.
Sundiam said that the two secretaries were required as a lawyer to “observe and maintain the respect and dignity due to the courts of justice and judicial officers.”
De Lima, in an earlier statement said, Corona was “a tyrant who holds himself above justice and accountability.”
“There is no gainsaying that the subject remarks were calculated precisely to degrade or tend to degrade the administration of justice and erode and undermine the people’s confidence in this Honorable Supreme Court and the judicial officers,” Sundiam said.
Normally, Marquez said, the investigation conducted by the IBP is usually 30 days but there are instances when it asks for an extension.
Marquez said that the IBP’s Committee on Bar Discipline would conduct the investigation and give its recommendation.