Corona denies meddling in IBP elections

by Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at May 30 2011 09:05 PM | Updated as of May 31 2011 05:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Chief Justice Renato Corona denied meddling in the elections of Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)officials for Western Visayas.

There was talk that Corona allegedly allowed a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the election of the governor of the IBP in the Western Visayas because the petitioner was a fraternity brother.

Court Administrator and Supreme Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said Corona did not know Atty. Marven B. Daquilanea as a fraternity brother. The chief magistrate also does not recall meeting Daquilanea.

Marquez said that the election for IBP Western Visayas Governor was not being cancelled but merely postponed, as was sought for by the petition, pending determination if the elections should be confined to Capiz lawyers only.

Aside from Capiz, other provinces which are in the Western Visayas are: Aklan, Antique, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Palawan, Romblon, and Siquijor.

If the high court had not issued the TRO, the damage would have been greater than the temporary inconvenience of postponing the elections, Marquez said. He said Corona does not want a repeat of a similar controversy in 2009 concerning the IBP’s governing board.

Marquez noted that Daquilanea’s motion was also echoed by no less than the April 25, 2011 Resolution of the Board of Governors of the IBP
“Urgently Requesting the Supreme Court to Issue Clarification on the Query of Western Visayas IBP Governor Erwin M. Fortunato Involving the Application of the Rotation Rule in the Forthcoming Elections in His Region.”

In a text message, incoming IBP National President Atty. Roan Libarios said “the election for Governor of Western Visayas (should) not (be) confined to Capiz but open to all without prejudice to the chapter entering into a consensus to follow a specific sequence.”

Libarios said the board respects the halt order issued.