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SC urged to probe Bikoy's use of IBP office for press conference.

A group has asked the Supreme Court to investigate officials of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for allowing Peter Joemel Advincula, the self-proclaimed 'Bikoy,' to use its office for a press conference.

In a sworn three-page letter submitted to the Office of the Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, Citizens Crime Watch, which is represented by lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, said the press conference, which is political in nature, has been sanctioned by IBP's outgoing national president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo and incoming national president and current vice president Domingo Egon Cayosa.

He said their action is a violation of Article I, Section 4 of the IBP By-Laws, which states that the IBP is strictly not political.

Proof that the press conference was allowed inside the IBP National office is that the IBP logo is seen at the background, giving the impression that the entire organization is supporting Advincula's assertions.

He added that the IBP National Director even accompanied Advincula for Legal Aid, lawyer Minerva Ambrosio, as well as some Catholic nuns.

'Supposedly the objectives of the Integrated Bar, as stated in Article I, Section 2 of its By-Laws are to elevate the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively,' Topacio said in the letter.

'Advincula's press conference, however, was obviously not in accordance with the said objectives and purposes; hence, it was highly improper for its officers...to have accommodated Advincula using the IBP premises as a medium for his press conference,' he added.

During the press conference, Advincula admitted that he is 'Bikoy,' the hooded narrator in the 'Ang Totoong Narcolist' series of videos detailing the alleged involvement of President Rodrigo Duterte's family and close allies in illegal drugs.

'Much damage has been done to the IBP, as well as to the legal profession in general; hence, the officers responsible for this reprehensible event should be investigated and held accountable,' he said.

Last May 10, the Kabalikat ng Nagkakaisang Manileno (Kabalikat) filed a disbarment complaint before the SC against Fajardo and Cayosa over Advincula's press conference.

'In allowing Advincula to use the premises and resources of the IBP free of charge, respondents appear to have counseled or abetted Advincula in the commission of slander and/or inciting to sedition,' the complaint read.

Advincula recently surfaced at Camp Crame to retract his allegations. He accused the Liberal Party and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV instead of involvement in the 'Bikoy' videos.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:May 27, 2019
Words:488
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