Sen. Santiago eyeing disbarment of Luy’s former lawyer

By on May 17, 2014

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago. Photo by Romy Bugante, Senate PRIB / Santiago's Facebook page
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago. Photo by Romy Bugante, Senate PRIB / Santiago’s Facebook page

MANILA — Feisty Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is contemplating on filing disbarment case against Benhur Luy’s former lawyer Levito Baligod.

Santiago, a former regional trial court judge, on Friday said Baligod has claimed that he was the one who drew up the list of Luy, the principal whistleblower.

”It appears that Baligod, by his own admission, concocted the list and distributed it. It also appears that Luy dismissed Baligod and is now represented by lawyer Raji Mendoza. The incumbent lawyer has told media that Luy had nothing to do with the preparation of the so-called Luy list. If so, then Baligod should take full responsibility,” Santiago explained.

Santiago said that under the Penal Code, libel is defined as a public and malicious imputation of a crime (such as bribery) which tends to cause the dishonor and discredit of any person, and therefore Baligod is guilty of libel.

The senator also added that under the Rules of Court, any member of the bar maybe disbarred by the Supreme Court for “any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in public office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the lawyer’s oath, and therefore Baligod should be disbarred.”

Santiago also said both the lawyers of Luy – Baligod and Mendoza – should also be called to the Senate hearing on the pork scam, together with their common client Luy, to settle the criminal responsibility for the distribution of the so-called Luy list.

The Luy list was circulated this week, incurring the ire of several senators, including Santiago.

Santiago is not included in the signed Janet Napoles list but reportedly listed on Luy’s list of individuals who transacted with Napoles.

Santiago said she is the only Filipina politician who is a laureate of the Asia-wide Magsaysay Award for government service.

“The Magsaysay Award Foundation authorized a secret investigation of my integrity before I was chosen. Now, scums like Baligod and his conspirators think nothing of destroying my reputation. If there is any justice in this world, Baligod and his backers should be drawn, quartered, and their severed heads hung from the highest Rizal Park flagpoles,” Santiago said.

Santiago is also the first Filipina elected judge of the International Criminal Court.