NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (Bohol Chapter) made public an appeal to social media influencer Emmanuel “Willy” Ramasola to file a complaint before the proper forum on allegations lodged against a “judge” rather than posting insinuations on his Facebook account.
In an unsigned statement posted on Facebook, the appeal was issued after the series of allegations posted by Ramasola came to the lawyers’ attention insinuating a certain “judge” as “corrupt” and a “crook” by selling his decisions.
The IBP statement came from the officers and past presidents of the IBP-Bohol chapter.
The lawyers’ group said that while Ramasola did not name the said “judge”, his Facebook posts “disparage and put the entire judiciary in a bad light.”
Ramasola in his posts said he received information through text messages which were made to appear as “conclusively true by posting the same on social media.”
The IBP said, “criticizing judges on social media, even anonymously, will also be prone to abuse as people may think that it is allowed and be a norm.”
In defense of the judiciary, the IBP statement stressed “our judges only speak through their decisions and are generally prohibited from speaking on mainstream and social media,” thus as members of the legal profession and officers of the court, “it is incumbent upon us and is part of our duties under the Code of Professional Responsibility to defend the judiciary when it is under attack.”
The strongly-worded letter likewise reminded the public, in general, to refrain from using social media as an avenue for gripes and grievances. The lawyers’ group likewise asked the public to instead lodge their complaints before the proper forum.
“There is a proper forum for gripes and grievances against judges and social media is not that forum,” the lawyers concluded.
Asked to comment on the IBP statement, Ramasola during a phone interview with top-rated DYRD “Tagbilaran-By-Nite” anchorman Tonton Aniscal, assured the public that his allegations will not just stay in the social media but that a formal complaint will be lodged shortly against the “judge” in the proper forum.