Officials of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) signed a Memorandum of Agreement ( MOA ) on November 29, 2021, agreeing to work together and mutually support each other for the upcoming national and local elections in 2022. Founder and Honorary Chairman of LENTE, Atty. Christian S. Monsod, underscored the critical role of lawyers and law students in guaranteeing the maintenance of law and order and in ensuring that the voice of individuals, particularly those coming from vulnerable sectors, is heard. He reminded everyone of the importance of the upcoming elections as a test of our vision of democracy.
For his part, IBP National President Atty. Burt M. Estrada emphasized the importance of pursuing accountability in the electoral process and introducing genuine electoral reforms. Atty. Estrada said, “the IBP will be helping educate and capacitate the public on the different electoral laws, issues, and processes. Also, through our regional chapters and legal aid offices, we hope to be able to assist in filing cases against election law violators to serve as examples and deter future violators.”
On the other hand, LENTE’s Executive Director Atty. Ona Caritos shared that the MOA signing between the two organizations is a significant undertaking for the legal profession, through the IBP, in the pursuit and furtherance of its advocacies to elevate the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively. Further, Atty. Caritos said, “the partnership among the IBP, law students, civil society organizations, and the general public would be pivotal to have a genuine 2022 elections.