‘Makabayan 4’ lawyer to Topacio: Prepare for disbarment
The lawyer of the four former members of the Makabayan bloc who are now facing arrests said her clients are thinking of filing disbarment and civil cases against lawyer Ferdinand Topacio for raising a P1 million bounty for their capture.
Atty. Rachel Pastores said Topacio should be responsible for the things that he is doing or saying because he is a lawyer.
“As a lawyer, siya po ay responsible sa whatever statement na sasabihin niya. At ‘yon pong pagre-raise niya ng bounty, ay talagang nakakapahamak sa buhay at seguridad ng aming mga client,” Pastores told reporters during a press briefing by the Makabayan 4.
“Meron po kaming Code of Professional Conduct na sa tingin namin na ‘yon ay nilabag niya, kaya po maghanda na siya,” Pastores added.
Pastores added that they are looking at two possible cases to be filed against Topacio—an administrative case for disbarment, and a case for civil damages.
“Isa ‘yong administrative case na disbarment. Isa rin ‘yong sinabi ni Atty. (Neri) Colmenares na civil cases for damages,” she said.
Pastores also questioned Topacio’s intentions after he emphasized that he was not involved in any way with the case.
“Sa totoo lang ‘yong sinabi niya na papa-imbestigahan pa niya ‘yong judge kung merong pressure, ang gusto talaga naming imbistigahan siya eh,” Pastores said in jest.
“Kasi saan ba siya nanggagaling? Hindi siya abogado nung private complainants, hindi ho siya abogado ng mga witnesses, wala ho siyang kinalaman sa kaso, hindi ho siya counsel of record, so bigla na lang po siyang sumulpot,” she added.
Topacio with Diego Magpantay of the Citizen Crime Watch (CCW) earlier offered the P1 million bounty for the arrest of “Makabayan 4” former lawmakers Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casiño, Liza Maza and Rafael Mariano.
A warrant of arrest was released against the four for the killing of Bayan Muna critics in Palayan, Nueva Ecija in 2006. According to Topacio, he has a responsibility to offer rewards as a lawyer and a legal counsel of CCW.
READ: Lawyer dangles P1-M bounty for capture of 4 militant execs
On Monday afternoon, the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, granted the motion for reconsideration filed by the Makabayan 4 solons to void the arrest order against them. /muf
READ: Murder cases vs Liza Maza, et al. dismissed; warrants voided
Meanwhile, Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares has urged Topacio to divert his attention on those behind failed government projects, instead of focusing on the Makabayan 4.
“Bakit interesado siya sa Makabayan 4? Dapat interesado siya na mahuli kung sino ang guilty sa NBN-ZTE deal ‘di ba? Dapat interesado siyang mahuli ang guilty sa Hello Garci tapes,” Colmenares said.
The National Broadband Network project and the Hello Garci scandal are two of the issues that plagued the administration of former President and now Speaker Arroyo. /muf
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