MANILA, Philippines - A lawyer has asked the Supreme Court to disbar Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte for repeatedly punching a trial court sheriff during the demolition of informal settlers’ shanties in the Agdao district last July 1.
A source said it was not sheriff Abe Andres, who was at the receiving end of the punches, who filed a petition before the Office of the Bar Confidant.
It was lawyer Fernando Perito, a crusader for lawyers’ ethics, who filed the petition.
Perito, a lifetime member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, had filed similar cases in the past. The last of these was the disbarment petition versus former Presidential Commission on Good Government Chairman Camilo Sabio for supposedly trying to influence the decision of his younger brother, former Court of Appeals Justice Jose Sabio Jr., in the case of Manila Electric Co. against the Government Service Insurance System in 2008.
Efforts to reach the Office of the Bar Confidant remain futile.
In a separate interview, SC spokesman and Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said, “I don’t have any information on that, but we have to remember that disbarment against lawyers are confidential in nature.”
Andres earlier said he does not have any plans of filing a case, including any criminal case, against Duterte. This does not preclude others from filing against her, however.
Duterte earlier said she got frustrated with Andres for refusing to grant her request for a 2-hour extension before pushing through with the demolition.
She remains adamant until now, and refuses to apologize to Andres, even at the risk of disbarment.