06 August 2012

Last week I appealed to the IBP to reconsider subjecting my disbarment cases to further proceedings. The IBP in its earlier decision presumed that the Supreme Court has already made a prima facie finding of merit in the disbarment cases, despite the lack of any Resolution of the Court to that effect.

It is unfortunate that the IBP opted to maintain its decision based on assumptions and not on the clear language of the Rules of Court on IBP investigations and Supreme Court decisions and circulars on when a person is deemed to be formally charged, specifically the case of Plopinio v. Carino (A.M. No. P-08-24S8, March 22, 2010) and OCA Circular No. 119-2011, which state that a person shall be considered formally charged in administrative proceedings only (a) upon the filing of a complaint at the instance of the disciplining authority; or (b) upon the finding of the existence of a prima facie case by the. disciplining authority, in case of a complaint filed by a private person.

Up to the present, neither the Supreme Court nor the IBP has come up with any Resolution showing that indeed there has already been a prima facie finding of merit in the disbarment complaints referred by the Court to the IBP. This is why the IBP had to assume there was one, even when it cannot point out to any document to that effect, except the recommendation of the IBP investigator finding no merit in two of the disbarment cases and which the IBP ignored.

Be that as it may, I have already stated in my letters to the JBC that "I leave [my fate] to the [Judicial and Bar] Council, with the hope that the Council allows each of the  candidates' bid for the post stand or fall based on their ovn respective merits, and not through the expedient, and not remotely underhanded means of disqualifying an otherwise qualified candidate."

I still hope that the JBC will see through the nature of the disbarment complaints against me as nothing but harassment cases, and which should not be used to disqualify me, and do the same for other similarly situated candidates.

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