Topacio says he’s ready for cases to be filed by ‘Makabayan 4’
Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said he is prepared to face the possible disbarment and civil cases to be filed against him by the “Makabayan 4.”
“Let’s just meet each other in court,” Topacio said in a phone interview on Tuesday afternoon, as he questioned the basis of the supposed cases to be filed.
Earlier, Atty. Rachel Pastores, lawyer of former House members Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casiño, Liza Maza, and Rafael Mariano – who now call themselves “Makabayan 4” – said Topacio violated the Code of Professional Conduct for lawyers when he offered the P1 million bounty for the arrest of Ocampo, Casiño, Maza, and Mariano.
She added that Topacio’s action has also endangered the lives of her clients.
“‘Yon pong pagre-raise niya ng bounty ay talagang nakakapahamak sa buhay at seguridad ng aming mga client […] Meron po kaming code of professional conduct na sa tingin namin na ‘yon ay nilabag niya, kaya po maghanda na siya,” Pastores said during the press briefing of Makabayan 4 on Tuesday.
On August 4, Topacio and Citizen’s Crime Watch (CCW) Founding President Diego Magpantay offered the P1 million bounty for the capture of the “Makabayan 4” who earlier faced arrests for the alleged murder of a Bayan Muna critic in Palayan, Nueva Ecija.
On Monday, the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City granted a motion filed by the “Makabayan 4” to void the arrest warrants issued against them.
Topacio however insists that he does not need to be a part of the case itself to raise the bounty as he was representing the CCW which is an independent and public anti-crime organization.
“I have the right to raise that bounty as a citizen, and as a member of an anti-crime watchdog,” Topacio claimed.
He also noted that the practice of raising bounties have been done before.
“It is not the first time that it happened. Bounties have been raised by private citizens on so many occasions,” he added. /muf
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