MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The Integrated Bar of the Philippines unanimously denied the appeal of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to set aside her disbarment cases pending her application to become Chief Justice.
The IBP’s decision comes ahead of the meeting of the Judicial and Bar Council, which is expected to come up with a short list today for the replacement of Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was ousted in May.
With the IBP’s decision, she may be disqualified from the screening process of the JBC.
In a phone interview, IBP spokesman Dennis Habawel told ABS-CBNnews.com that the IBP maintained that they are already doing a formal investigation against de Lima for earlier badmouthing Corona.
“She asked that we do a preliminary investigation, but we could not since it was already done by the SC,” he said.
The IBP investigation actually stemmed from a directive of the SC.
Whether or not this will weigh on de Lima’s Chief Justice hopes, he said he will not comment. Habawel said this will still be up to the JBC.
“Certainly, it can’t be denied that there’s a JBC rule [disqualifying candidates with administrative cases],” he said.
He noted, however, it is not in the power of the IBP to determine if the disbarment case is administrative in nature.