MANILA — In an effort to protect the members of the legal profession and judiciary, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
NBI OIC-Director Eric B. Distor said the MOA is a welcome development between the two institutions as it will strengthen coordination and communication of NBI with the various chapter organizations of the IBP.
Distor added that the MOA hopes to prevent further attacks against lawyers and members of the judiciary.
In a 5-page document signed by NBI OIC-Director Eric B. Distor and IBP President Atty. Domingo Q. Cayosa at the new Corporate Office of NBI at V-Tech Tower along Araneta avenue in Quezon City on Friday, June 25, 2021, the NBI will provide timely assistance to lawyers, prosecutors and magistrates in distress and extend appropriate security and protection in cases of threats or hazards in the performance of their duties and functions as may be allowed by law and regulations.
The NBI will also expedite the investigation and give preferential attention to incidents or cases of violence against members of the legal profession and to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable and that justice is swiftly done.
For its part of the agreement, the IBP will provide legal assistance, through its legal aid program, to qualified NBI personnel who are unjustly harassed for doing their job and who do not have access to competent lawyers. The MOA also states that the IBP will establish and manage an appropriate incentive and reward fund to assist and encourage informants and witnesses for the successful investigation, arrest, and prosecution of suspects in the killing of or attack against lawyers, prosecutors, and magistrates.
The MOA further states that the IBP will advocate measures that intend to upgrade law enforcement capabilities, ensure the prompt resolution and disposition of criminal cases, and motivate the NBI officers and lawyers to work together in upholding the rule of law in the service of our country and its people.
In their strong desire to make the MOA more effective, the NBI and IBP agreed to establish and maintain direct lines of communication between their national and local leaders for faster coordination to pre-empt, avoid, or reduce violence against their members and to expedite and monitor the investigation, arrest and prosecution, punishment and reformation of the malefactors.
Both parties also agreed, to the extent allowed by their respective rules and policies and within the bounds of the law, the participants shall share data and information to promptly and effectively contain or adequately address threats to the life and security of their members. (Kiara Lauren Ibanez/BENJAMIN CUARESMA/AI/MTVN)