Lawyers' refusal to reveal clients is not obstruction of justice, says IBP chief


Posted at Aug 21 2018 12:18 PM

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MANILA - The refusal of lawyers to reveal the names of their clients does not amount to obstruction of justice, the president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines said Tuesday, a day after the Palace justified the arrest of 3 legal counsels in Makati.

Three lawyers who refused to divulge their clients' names during a drug raid in a Makati were arrested by police last week for alleged obstruction of justice.

"The refusal at that time to reveal the name of your client does not constitute obstruction of justice," IBP President Abdiel Fajardo told ANC's Early Edition.

"There are also doctrines that do not require you to reveal the name of your client if revealing the name of your client would incriminate him," he said.

National Capital Region Police Office chief Dir. Guillermo Eleazar earlier said the lawyers were arrested for disobeying police officials and crossing a police line.

"Basic ethics lang ito. Magpakilala kayo at pagtinatanong sino nirerepresent niyo, sasabihin niyo yun. Kung nagpakilala lang sila, lahat ng phases, isasama namin sila," Eleazar said.

Fajardo said these too cannot be considered as obstruction of justice.

Crossing a police line is not obstruction of justice as "it is an ordinance punishable by a P500 fine by the local government of Makati," he said.