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MANILA, Philippines — Now, only the Supreme Court could dismiss complaints against lawyers.
This after the high court revised rules on the discipline of members of the bar, directing the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the organization of all lawyers in the country, to revise its internal rules on administrative cases in accordance with the amendment.
“The power to dismiss a complaint against a lawyer rests solely with the Supreme Court and cannot be delegated to the IBP,” said the high court in a statement on Tuesday.
In amending Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court, the high court limited the IBP’s power over administrative cases to making recommendations upon hearing, unlike before when the organization could dismiss complaints at its level.
With the amendment, only the Supreme Court can dismiss a case against a lawyer or impose penalties.
“Section 5 of Bar Matter No. 1645 now only grants the IBP recommendatory powers: “[i]f the complaint does not merit action, or if the answer shows to the satisfaction of the Investigator that the complaint is not meritorious, the Investigator will recommend to the Board of Governors the dismissal of the complaint,” the high court said.
The high court said such an amendment was pursuant to Article VIII, Section 5(5) of the 1987 Constitution, which has vested upon the high court “the power to promulgate rules concerning the admission to the practice of law.” - SFM.
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