The Integrated Bar in the Phils (IBP) will issue shortly its official reaction on the disclosure of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that some lawyers are allrgedly involved in drugs.
Atty. Teodoro Lagang, president of the Integrated Bar of the Phils (IBP) expressed dismay at the accusation that some lawyers are also embroiled into drugs as Bohol has been listed as among the provinces with the most number of drug “surrenderees” since the launching of”Oplan Tokhang” under the Duterte administration.
The reaction of the lawyers’ group president followed right after the NBI made public last Thursday its report that at least three to five lawyers in the province are involved in drugs.
NBI-Bohol Executive Officer Arcelito Albao disclosed to the Prov’l Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting presided by Gov. Edgar Chatto at the Governor’s Mansion last Thursday the alleged involvement of some lawyers who he declined to identify.
“Only when they get arrested or filed with appropriate charges can I identify them,” the NBI official said.
When interviewed over dyRD-AM yesterday, Atty. Lagang said the IBP will still finalize their official statement in reaction to the NBI report.
As an initial reaction to the report, the IBP-Bohol president said the lawyers’ group will never allow any of its members to be linked to drugs.
He said the NBI disclosure was already discussed in a recent IBP board meeting.
NBI Director Albao told the Chronicle he already talked with two, out of the five lawyers in the drug list. He also sent emissaries to the three other lawyers, warning all of them to stop their alleged drug involvement as the NBI will not hesitate to arrest them.
However, he declined to elaborate on whether the five lawyers are drug users, pushers or protectors.
He told the PPOC meeting that these lawyers will be given until this month of December to totally stop their alleged involvement, in case they have not yet yielded to earlier appeals made. Surveillance will resume next month or after the holiday season, the NBI official vowed.
Albao who is a lawyer himself assured to exert efforts to be fair to his co-lawyers. In fact, he walked an extra mile to talk to these lawyers soon after he received the reports.
The NBI official also personally went to the office of IBP Pres. Lagang who in turn visited him at the NBI office sometime in November when the report was given a serious concern by the local NBI.
Meanwhile, in its active support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs, the NBI in Bohol in coordination with other law enforcement agencies has initiated its anti-drugs operations and has been contributing to the accomplishments of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
For months, members of the PPOC have been urging the police officers who builds up their suits against arrested drug personalities to make sure they have a tenable case to finally complement their efforts in finally making Bohol drug free.
For months too, PPOC members point out that the dismal accomplishments in convicting drug criminals may either be a problem with the police filing the case or that there is a flaw in the system that may include those in the prosecution system. (with reports from Rey Tutas and rac/PIA/Bohol)