Press Release
June 27, 2010


Outgoing Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. yesterday asked the Supreme Court to lift its indefinite suspension of the law practice of Atty. Alan Paguia on the ground that he has been punished enough for questioning the tribunal's 200l decision upholding the removal of former President Joseph Estrada and his replacement by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Pimentel, the Senate minority leader, said that as a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, he wrote a letter to the SC appealing for an end to the suspension Paguia which has been in effect for more than six years now.

"I asked the Supreme Court to restore the license of Atty. Paguia. He has suffered enough from the sanction imposed by the court. He has been barred from practicing his law profession for more than six years, and I think that is too much," the veteran legislator said.

Pimentel said the suspended lawyer has been deprived of his professional source of livelihood, causing financial difficulties to him and his family.

Paguia was indefinitely suspended from law practice by the SC for his statements accusing the justices of the high tribunal, led by then Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr., of political partisanship when they swore in then Vice President Arroyo as President an legitimate successor of Estrada on January 20, 200l in the aftermath of the EDSA II people's power revolt.

A law professor of the Ateneo University, Paguia argued that the SC's ruling was unconstitutional considering that Estrada was not convicted in the impeachment case before the Senate. He strongly criticized the court for saying that Estrada had "constructively resigned" after he was forced to leave Malacanang on the day Arroyo was sworn in as President.

As early as January, 2008, Paguia himself had requested the SC to lift the suspension, by telling the court that the purpose of the suspension had been achieved and "there was no more useful purpose to continue it."

Subsequently, the SC on March 10, 2008 approved a resolution holding in abeyance the resolution of the petition to lift Paguia's suspension pending the submission of proof that the IBP and the civic and religious sectors were favorably endorsing his reinstatement to the practice of law and certification from competent courts that he has not appeared in court as counsel during his suspension.

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