MANILA - The Integrated Bar of the Philippines on Sunday warned the public not to resort to "channels that assume to secure speedy justice" as it defended a lawyer who it said was "castigated" on YouTube.
The IBP lamented that the legal profession was being "besieged, not only by guns for hire, but just as perilously by people, who without requisite study and training, irresponsibly arrogate themselves the interpretation of laws and rules."
"Thus, we caution the public against resorting to channels that assume to secure speedy justice at the expense of fundamental rights to privacy and due process," it said.
"Grievances against lawyers and judges should be brought through the proper procedure and venues, as should all disputed incapable of amicable settlement."
The IBP said that in a video on YouTube published n Aug. 21, a lawyer was "castigated" for his alleged failure to mediate between his client and adverse party, and for filing instead criminal cases for grave threats in court, without going through a preliminary investigation.
The host of the YouTube channel "repeatedly discredited the concerned member of the bar for being a relatively new laywer; exposed him to contempt by inviting his viewers to submit the lawyer’s photograph to their program forced him to apologize, and publicly humiliated him by challenging him to a live interview where he sought to expose the lawyer’s alleged shortcoming," it said.
The "harsh and demeaning words were unnecessary to (the host's) declared purpose of informing and educating the public and renders a disservice to the interest of maintaining the public’s faith in our judicial system in which lawyers play an important and indispensable role."
The IBP added that its former national president Domingo Cayosa was "quoted out of context based on hypothetical facts."
"Also, he was not even informed that the consultation was recorded or to be aired in public," it said.
"The IBP, as an institution, will not allow itself or any of its members or the judiciary to be insulted, demeaned, humiliated or used by any media personality or any person, individual or entity for that matter."