IBP interpretation is wrong

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If it is true, as shown on television, that the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) allegedly made a stand regarding the issue whether or not the signing of the amnesty of Sen. Trillanes by former Secretary of Defense Voltaire Gazmin instead of former Pres. Pnoy was valid.

According to the report,  IBP stands that the amnesty was valid,  because if a president can delegate his power in the signing of foreign treaties, it can also delegate his power in the granting of Amnesty.

But, the Supreme Court, rendered decision on these cases:   VAN D. LUSPO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 188487, February 14, 2011; SUPT. ARTURO H. MONTANO and MARGARITA TUGAOEN vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 188541, February 14, 2011, and C/INSP. SALVADOR C. DURAN, SR. vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 188556, February 14, 2011, it consistently and continuously ruled as follows:

Public officers exercise discretionary and/or ministerial duties. A duty is discretionary if the officer is allowed to determine how and when it is to be performed and to decide this matter one way or the other and be right either way. This duty cannot be delegated xxx xxx xxx.

On the other hand, a ministerial duty is one that requires neither the exercise of official discretion nor judgment. It connotes an act wherein nothing is left to the discretion of the person executing it. It is practically a mechanical act; hence, it can be delegated to others.

Pursuant thereto, the granting of Amnesty is a discretionary duty of a President of the Republic and cannot be delegated because it is something where he has a discretion one way or the other to grant it or not. Consequently, the IBP concerned is absolutely wrong.

Looking at the present instance with an absolutely objective eye, it is paradoxical and is revolting to conscience that people trained to interpret the law are sowing confusion to the public on something so basic and fundamental to the detriment of their reputation and their profession especially where it is one’s profession and honor that hang in the balance. The sad thing is, they were not fooling anyone at all. They only ended up making a fool out of themselves in the process.

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