IBP backs prosecution of judges, prosecutors in drugs

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Thursday gave law enforcement offices the go-ahead in prosecuting judges, prosecutors, and lawyers implicated in the illegal drugs business including possession and use as well.

IBP president Abdeil Dan Elijah Fajardo issued the statement in response to the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency’s recent claim that there were judges and prosecutors included in the illegal drugs watchlist.

“We encourage our law enforcement operatives to prosecute and spare no one, not even lawyers, prosecutors or judges, who are into drug possession and use, as this continues to be an offense penalized under the Anti-Drug Act.”

“The malefactors may also be held administratively liable for misconduct, and must be proceeded against before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Department of Justice, or the Supreme Court, as the case may be,” Fajardo said.

But Fajardo called on PDEA and other anti-drugs offices to refrain from publicly shaming judges and prosecutors who acquit drug suspects on constitutional grounds, and who dismiss drug complaints for insufficiency of evidence, respectively.

“Thus, prosecutors and judges must not be publicly shamed but extolled for pointing out the following foibles that invariably come out after due proceedings:

*Material inconsistencies in the testimonies of prosecution witnesses, mostly police officers involved in the apprehension and investigation of the accused;
*Failure to comply with the requirements of Section 21 of the anti-drug law regarding chain of custody;
*Unexplained lapses of time between confiscation, marking, inventory and turn-over of drug specimen
*Discrepancies in testimonies in such matters as time or place or manner of apprehension,” Fajardo said.

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