Monday, January 12, 2009
Lawyer Ethics 101" Stealing Paper is Not Irregular
“Are they going to sue me for stealing a piece of paper? I did nothing wrong!” This was the reply of a lawyer when asked by a news reporter if it is not unlawful for him to use a government agency’s official letter head for which he is not an employee and worse, prepares a draft release order in behalf of the agency and endorsed for signature and approval by the Department Secretary. This is a blatant mockery of the rule of law for which he is supposed to uphold. His deed is unethical and a direct insult to the Filipino people’s intelligence. One doesn’t need to be a legal luminary to understand what the lawyer did was highly malicious and immoral. That piece of paper can be as valuable as what it is intended to; a decision for the immediate release of drug suspects. And the lawyer’s reason; Christmas is near and everybody in the Department might be busy and he’s just trying to make it easy for the Department Secretary.
I have high respect for lawyers and have lawyer friends too and admittedly, this lawyer put to shame other honest and honorable lawyers and worse, put to shame their once honorable profession. This lawyer unethically maneuvering the lawful process of the Justice Department further worsen the image of our country’s judicial system, domestically and internationally, needless to say, the Philippines as a nation.
If this lawyer thinks that there’s nothing irregular in what he did, then if I can take into possession one of his law firm’s letter heads, I will draft a letter in his behalf authorizing his private doctor to perform castration on him immediately and have “it” donated to a charity patient. If he protests, I love to tell this right on his face: “Are you going to sue me for stealing a piece of paper?”
Lawyers are considered as one of the learned people in the society. They prepare the laws of the land; provide interpretation for its implementation and from there begins a healthy coexistence of people and the law. But what will happen to a nation if those who are supposed to uphold the rule of law are the very same people twisting it?