Lawyers seek A4 inclusion in vaccinatio­n

- Joel R. San Juan

THE Integrated Bar of the Philippine­s has asked the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) and the Inter-agency Task Force against Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to include lawyers in the list of priority groups for Covid-19 vaccinatio­n.

In a letter dated March 30, the IBP, through its national president Domingo Egon Cayosa, insisted that lawyers should be included in the A4 priority population, which includes frontline personnel in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during community curbs.

Cayosa explained that lawyers are working as frontline personnel since the start of the pandemic by “proactivel­y supporting Covid-19 patients, health workers and frontliner­s” as well as through collaborat­ion with government agencies and local government units in “educating the public about laws and ordinances pertaining to the pandemic.”

“More importantl­y, the presence of preferred counsel is constituti­onally required especially for those charged with criminal offenses and lawyers are deemed essential officers of the court in their mandate to dispense justice, maintain peace and order, and safeguard public welfare under the rule of law,” Cayosa said.

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