DILG refutes IBP: Arrest of lawyers in Makati bar did not violate UN rules | Inquirer News

DILG refutes IBP: Arrest of lawyers in Makati bar did not violate UN rules

/ 03:05 PM August 23, 2018

Countering the claim of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) stressed that the police did not violate any United Nations (UN) principle when they recently arrested three lawyers in a Makati City bar.

In a statement on Thursday, DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya insisted that the DILG-PNP knows the government’s role in ensuring that lawyers can perform their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference in accordance with the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

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However, the same UN Declaration, according to Malaya, puts an equally important obligation on lawyers to cooperate with governmental and other institutions in pursuing justice and public interest.

“As we acknowledge that lawyers owe fidelity to the cause of their clients, they should also bear in mind that as officers of the court, they must observe the rules of procedure and shall not misuse them to defeat the ends of justice,” Malaya said.

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He claimed that lawyers Leni Rocha, Jan Vincent Soliven, and Romulo Alarcon allegedly did not cooperate with authorities as they entered the crime scene.

Malaya also alleged that the lawyers crossed the police line without coordination and without written authorization from the owner of the place being searched.

Makati cops arrested and detained the lawyers on Thursday last week for reportedly obstructing the implementation of a search warrant inside the Makati bar.

Charges of constructive possession of illegal drugs, as well as obstruction of justice, resistance and disobedience to persons of authorities, and violation of a city ordinance against civilians crossing a police line, were slapped against the lawyers.

After being detained for more than 24 hours, the lawyers were ordered released by the Makati City prosecutor who set the preliminary investigation on August 28.

According to Malaya, “as a matter of public policy, a client’s identity should not be shrouded in mystery.”

He explained the general rule is that a lawyer may not refuse to divulge the name or identity of his client, especially when asked by a law enforcer.

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The Interior Assistant Secretary also said the government stands by the actions of the Makati police in the operation and will provide them the best lawyers should lawsuits be filed against them. /vvp

RELATED STORIES: Lawyers monitoring drug search held; IBP up in arms

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TAGS: Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), IBP, Makati bar raid, Philippine news updates, UN
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