Saturday, December 10, 2016

IBP: Duterte's criticism of lawyers defending drug suspects 'dangerous'

See - IBP: Duterte's criticism of lawyers defending drug suspects 'dangerous'

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In a statement, however, the IBP said every accused, "no matter what crime he may be charged with," has the right to competent legal counsel.

This right, they added, is "not only enshrined in the Constitution but is premised upon the fundamental principles of justice and fairness, particularly in a situation where the accused is faced with the awesome resources of the State. The Bill of Rights exists precisely to address this undeniable inequality."

The President's statements, the IBP said, were dangerous because they implicitly inhibited or discouraged the exercise of one's rights due to a threat of legal sanction or other danger.

The IBP added, "Lawyers must be free to decide to accept and undertake the defense in any kind of criminal case without any fear that doing so will place them in any kind of danger. Competent legal representation is not only the right of every accused but, more importantly, the sworn duty of each and every member of the bar to provide."

The IBP continued by saying that while it did not condone unethical conduct among its members who serve as legal counsel, "every lawyer is not only entitled, but even duty-bound, to utilize every right or remedy available under the law and the Rules of Court to zealously protect the interest of his client." –

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