Friday, May 4, 2018

Robredo urges fellow lawmakers to protect the Constitution, and people's rights

Robredo speaks before the members of the IBP on May 3, 2018 / photo from PNA (ctto)

Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday has encouraged the members of the  Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to protect the Philippine Constitution and the people’s rights, in times of institutional change.

Robredo delivered her speech at the IBP Central Luzon regional convention and Mandatory  Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

The vice president said that it is not enough for lawyers, "to know the law, argue their positions well, and quote the most obscure provisions to win their cases and protect their clients."

"There’s no excuse for us to confuse friends from foes because the Constitution is clear about what and who we must protect. We must remember that our legal profession carries with it the weighty duty of defending our rights and our freedoms," Robredo said.

She also encouraged the lawyers to speak the truth and not to be afraid, and that they must fight for causes that many are unwilling to take.

Robredo called on the members of the IBP to honor the profession.

“I wish to call on all of you today, to honor our profession by refusing to stay safely hidden in the sidelines while our people fight for their rights and our democratic institution’s fight for their survival,” Robredo said.

“We go against not a single entity, but a growing culture of apathy. We do not protect our people from a single oppressor now the way we did during Martial Rule, but the creeping, dangerous mentality that the rule of law is dispensable,” she added.

Robredo also added that the group is a legal resource, non-government organization that empowers marginalized sectors by letting them know about their rights.

"While our economy continues to grow, there are inequalities (that) refuse to be safely hidden in the sidelines while people fight for their rights," she said.

Robredo, who is also a lawyer prior joining politics, shared that she joined Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (Saligan), and that she worked closely with the farmers, fishermen, urban poor, indigenous people, as well as women and children.

The vice president also recognized the IBP for asking the Supreme Court to junk the petition for quo warranto against Chief Justice on leave Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Source: PNA, Manila Bulletin