Topacio to SC: Probe IBP officials who allowed Advincula to hold presscon in IBP headquarters

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio on Monday, May 27, asked the SC to probe the IBP officials who allowed Peter Joemel Advincula to hold a press conference at the IBP headquarters early May./Moira Encina/Eagle News/

(Eagle News)–Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio on Monday, May 27, asked Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin to probe officials of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines who allowed Peter Joemel Advincula to hold a press conference at the IBP headquarters early May.

In a letter submitted to Bersamin’s office, Topacio noted it was “highly improper” for IBP national president Abdiel Fajardo and incoming  president and current vice chairman Domingo Cayosa “to have accommodated Advincula in using the IBP premises as a medium for his press conference” as the conduct of such was not in accordance with the IBP’s objectives and purposes.

According to Topacio, the IBP’s goal is to “elevate the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively.”

He said allowing Advincula to conduct the press conference may also constitute a violation of Article I, Sec. 4 of the by-laws,  which mandates that the IBP remain “strictly non-political,” noting the statements of condemnation of Solicitor General Jose Calida and of the IBP Davao chapter.

As to claims the IBP did not know beforehand that Advincula would hold a press conference, Topacio said this was “,difficult to believe since the function room where the press conference was held appears to have been set up in advance considering the presence of numerous media, a sound system and tables and chairs.”

He said Advincula was “even” accompanied by IBP national director for legal aid Minerva Ambrosio and some Catholic nuns.

“In view of the foregoing, I am most respectfully requesting that the Honorable Supreme Court, which exercises supervision and control over the IBP pursuant to Article VIII Section 5(5) of the 1987 Constitution to look into this matter at the soonest possible time in order to preserve the trust and respect of the public of the IBP as the national organization of lawyers of the Philippines,” he said.

In the press conference, Advincula claimed he was the “Bikoy” in the Ang Totoong Narcolist videos against President Rodrigo Duterte, his family and some allies.

He stood by the allegations in the videos that Dutertea and his group were engaged in the illegal drug trade.

In a subsequent press conference, Advincula said the contents of the videos were lies.

He said the Liberal Party, Antonio Trillanes and other opposition figures were behind the same in an attempt to oust Duterte and discredit Bong Go, the chief executive’s longtime aide.