IBP: Prosecute, don’t shame, lawyers, prosecutors, judges in drug watchlist

Published March 22, 2019, 2:29 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Jeffrey Damicog

Instead of shaming them by revealing who they are, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) prefer to have lawyers, prosecutors and judges in the drugs watch list prosecuted.

The IBP made the call after Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino revealed there are lawyers, prosecutors and judges in the agency’s drug watchlist.

Integrated Bar of the Philippines logo (MANILA BULLETIN)
Integrated Bar of the Philippines logo

“We encourage our law enforcement operatives to prosecute and spare no one, not even lawyers, prosecutors or judges, who are into drug possession and use, as this continues to be an offense penalized under the Anti-Drug Act,” said IBP National President Abdiel Dan Elijah S. Fajardo in a statement.

“The malefactors may also be held administratively liable for misconduct, and must be proceeded against before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Department of Justice, or the Supreme Court, as the case may be,” he added.

Fajardo stressed that the IBP is against the disclosure of the drugs list “that publicly shame prosecutors who dismiss drug complaints for insufficiency of evidence, and judges who acquit drug suspects on constitutional grounds.”

“Government agents are not licensed to perverse or relax constitutional standards on buy-bust and search and seizure operations and a defeat in the legal arena on such basis must not be interpreted as drug coddling or protection,” he said.

Last week, President Duterte named 46 “narco-politicians” on the list, which included 35 mayors, seven vice mayors, one provincial board member, and three lawmakers.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has filed administrative complaints against these alleged narco-politicians before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Just recently, Aquino said PDEA’s drug list also included judges, prosecutors and even celebrities and members of the media.

On the other hand, Aquino assured PDEA cannot release the names in the list since it has to go through stringent scrutiny, reevaluation, and validation.