USJ-R forms legal team to defend Lazaga - Cebu Circle | Cebu City, Philippines

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Friday, October 1, 2010

USJ-R forms legal team to defend Lazaga

10/01/2010 - A LEGAL team from the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) plans to file a writ of amparo to protect the constitutional rights of their senior law student who was implicated in Sunday’s bar exams blast in Manila which injured 44 people, mostly law students.
USJ-R sent the legal team to Manila to address the issues involving Jed Carlo Lazaga, who was accused of carrying out the grenade attack on a raucous crowd waiting outside the gates of De La Salle University (DLSU) for the bar examinees to come out.

“Our aim now is for Jed Lazaga to be cleared of all the (accusations). Let's not make Jed a suspect. We are hoping that all speculations will be clarified,” USJR assistant dean Mary Elaine Bathan said.

Bathan, one of the four lawyers that compose the USJR legal team, said they might file a writ of amparo before the court to “protect the constitutional rights of a person.”

Lazaga is represented by his own lawyer Danilo Yap.

Bathan said Lazaga had narrated what happened at the time of the blast in his sworn statement distributed to the media.

In his affidavit, Lazaga said he was accused by a rival fraternity of throwing a grenade at a crowd who had gathered outside the DLSU gates to celebrate the end of the bar exams.

He was placed under police custody for allegedly starting the trouble but was later released since police did not know what charges to file against him.

As of now, no charges have been filed against Lazaga.

However, Lazaga is not completely cleared of the accusations as investigations by the Manila police and the Supreme Court (SC) continue.

Lawyer Michael Yu, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu City chapter, said he would meet with the lawyers board on Tuesday to discuss the resolutions they wished to make regarding the blast.

Yu said they intend to come up with two resolutions - the decentralization of the bar exams and their stand on Lazaga's accusations.

Personally, Yu said Lazaga is innocent of the accusations based on the reports he gathered.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama believes the bombing incident was an act by terrorists and not by frat men nor by a Cebuano law student.

Rama reiterated his call for a joint investigation of the incident by the Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation to determine the real culprits instead of unfairly accusing Lazaga.

The mayor explained that fratmen would only inflict harm among themselves and not on other people except during an accident. Beside, Rama said he was there at the time of the blast and even talked to some leaders of the Alpha Kappa Rho (Akrho) fraternity, where Lazaga is a member.

On the allegation against Lazaga, Rama said it would be illogical for a law student with good records in his school to do it since he would soon also be taking the bar exams next year.

The mayor also assured the Supreme Court that the city government could provide a better environment and security if the bar exams for examinees in the Visayas and Mindanao will be held in the city.

He said it is high time for the bar exams to be regionalized, starting with Cebu and other provinces that could give assurance of peace and order
(Cebu Daily News)

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