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MANILA, Philippines --The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has ordered a full-blown investigation into the disbarment complaints against Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.
In a resolution, the IBP Board of Governors led by IBP president Roan Libarios dismissed De Lima's motion to summarily dismiss the two disbarment complaints against her.
The complaints, filed by Ricardo Rivera, Fernando Perito, and Nephtali Aliposa, are in connection with De Lima's defiance of the Supreme Court's ruling against the DOJ's hold-departure order against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The consolidated complaints were filed before the high court and referred to the IBP for further inquiry.
“The relief of summary dismissal without further investigation becomes unavailing because the Supreme Court, in referring the case to the IBP for investigation, is presumed to have already made a preliminary determination that there is basis to proceed with formal investigation. Otherwise, the Supreme Court would have summarily dismissed the case,” the IBP Board said.
De Lima is one of the candidates for the chief justice post that was vacated by Renato Corona who, was impeached and removed from office by the Senate impeachment court last May 29.
The disbarment case puts De Lima's candidacy at risk. Earlier, Iloilo Rep. Neil Tupas, chairman of the House Committee on Justice and a member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), said the complaints against De Lima should be dismissed, otherwise, she would be disqualified for the chief magistrate post.
De Lima was given until August 2 to submit her clearance to the JBC.