SC orders IBP to settle its own leadership conflicts

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The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to find its own way of resolving leadership conflicts other than elevating these matters to the SC.

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In an en banc ruling, the SC denied the “motion to declare dated March 27, 2013 as ultra vires or invalid the urgent motion for defer/restrain performance of duties as successor governor of IBP Northern Luzon Region dated April 22, 2013 and the very urgent motion to restrain Atty. Lynda Chaguile from voting in the [Executive Vice President] election on May 22, 2013 dated May 20, 2013 filed by lawyer Marlou B. Ubano [for being moot and academic.]”

The SC declared that Chaguile was indeed a de facto officer during her tenure as IBP governor for Northern Luzon and that “her acts as de facto officer—including her having voted in the May 22, 2013 election for the [EVP of the IBP]—are valid, binding, and effective.”

“The urgent motion to [1] nullify the EVP election. . . and [2] restrain Gov. Vicente Joyas of Southern Luzon Region from discharging the duties of EVP/Acting President until the final resolution of the issues is denied,” the SC ruling written by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said.

In his petition, Urbano sought for the invalidation of Chaguile’s nomination as replacement of IBP governor for Northern Luzon, Denis Habawel.

In the decision, the SC found no reason of “how the election could have been tainted with the presiding officer’s absolute lack of independence, manifest bias and prejudice, patent hostility, and inordinate haste.”

“We find no reason to invalidate the election,” the SC said.

However, the SC said that “it is worthwhile to consider if there are other means of integrating the members of the bar–alternative ways that might enable the [IBP] to satisfy its objectives more effectively, democratize its leadership, and minimize its need to seek the intervention of the [high tribunal.]”

“The leadership of [the IBP]must find a better way of resolving its conflicts other than elevating these matters to this court,” it said.

The SC said that “it cannot fail to show maturity in resolving its own conflicts. It behooves the members of the legal profession to avoid being so litigous that they lose sight of the primordial public interests that must be upheld in every case and conflict that is raised to the level of this court.”

“Otherwise, the [IBP] will continue to alienate its mass membership through political contestations that may be viewed as parochial intramurals from which only a few lawyers benefit,” it added.

“It will be generations of leaders who model needless litigation and wasted time and energy. This is not what an integrated bar of a noble profession should be,” the SC said. PNA

 

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