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Chief Justice on Trial

Differing views on Corona impeachment not sign of factions says ex-IBP prexy

December 28, 2011 11:57pm
The apparently conflicting views between former and incumbent presidents of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on the impeachment case against Chief Justice Renato Corona will not divide the lawyers’ organization, one of its former leaders said on Wednesday.
Attorney Jose Aguila Grapilon, IBP president from 1997-1999, brushed off speculation that factions within the IBP may have formed because of the impeachment case.
Grapilon stressed at a press conference that while IBP leaders and members may not agree on some issues they maintain a healthy respect for the opinions of past and present IBP presidents.
"It's a healthy exercise of the principle of 'You agree to disagree.' After all, bakit pa kami nag-aral ng Constitution…," he said.
That same Constitution gives one seat in the Judicial and Bar Council—the body which screens and recommends nominees for vacancies in the Supreme Court—to a member of the Integrated Bar.
Grapilon is one of the five former IBP presidents who presented a manifesto backing the impeachment trial against Corona, saying pushing through with it would be "healthy for Philippine democracy."  Incumbent Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz is among the five.
Differing with Grapilon are current IBP president Roan Libarios and former IBP president Vicente Millora, who filed separate petitions before the Supreme Court, seeking to stop the impeachment trial for its supposed invalidity.
But Grapilon insisted despite their differing views on the controversial issue, the IBP presidents remain "friends."
"However, it is also our duty as former presidents to make a stand on certain matters," he said, admitting that they have more "standing" as IBP presidents than other individuals.
He also belied rumors that there are moves to ease Libarios out of the IBP presidency for his support of Corona.
"Two years ang presidency ng IBP at wala namang impeachment doon. Kung president ka ng IBP, maganda ang standing mo doon... You can actually influence the national mood," Grapilon said. — ELR/HS/KG, GMA News
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