THE Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) yesterday called on the public to immediately report to law enforcement agencies or to the organization any persons misrepresenting themselves as lawyers.
IBP national president Domingo Egon Cayosa made the appeal after the recent arrest of two persons in Manila and Quezon City for masquerading as lawyers and officials of the organization.
One of the suspects, identified as Joselito Name Alegre, posed as lawyer Francisco James Brilliances, who is the vice president of the IBP Manila chapter; while the other one was named Cherry Barabad, who pretended to be a notary public using the name of lawyer Salvador Viste Jr.
Alegre was arrested by the police in Tondo, Manila late last month while Barabad was nabbed by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Quezon City last week.
“Their arrests should serve as a deterrent to others who are misrepresenting the profession and the organization. The one arrested in Quezon City even had the gall to put up a makeshift stall and was using the name of a male lawyer to perpetrate her activities,” Cayosa said in a telephone interview.
“Aside from damaging the (names of the) individual lawyers impersonated and the legal profession, fake lawyers prejudice the public interest as they compromise and subvert the legitimacy of legal processes and the documents that they deal with,” he added.
Cayosa said he had already called on all IBP chapters nationwide to be vigilant and to see to it that these “fake lawyers” are arrested and prosecuted to prevent them from continuing their illegal activities.
“Under my leadership, we have become more aggressive in going after these persons misrepresenting themselves as lawyers. We have a good relationship with the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation who promised to help us in this effort,” Cayosa said.