Article by: Denn Reed B. Tuvera Jr.
“All we need to do is to believe in ourselves and our God-given ability to live up to the greatness and nobility of our chosen profession”.
This was the statement of the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Renato Corona in his speech at the 13th Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Convention at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales last April 7 to 9, 2011. He also administered the oath of the 2011 to 2013 IBP Chapter Officers and Directors.
In his speech, Corona said as the year 2011 ushers in a new decade of sweeping global and national challenges, transformations and paradigm shifts, “the call of the moment is for each and every Filipino lawyer to step up to the needs of the times, securely covered by the breastplate of competence and integrity.”
Furthermore, the Chief Justice emphasized that every lawyer must continue studying and improving himself specially after passing the Bar.
“He must keep abreast of the new laws, decisions of the Supreme Court as well as the rules and regulations promulgated by the Government and concerned agencies,” he stressed.
He also said that aside from committing themselves to learning, “lawyers, as officers of the Court, ought not only to breathe life into the Constitution and the law but also the champion of the individual rights, especially to the poor and the weak.”
The Chief Justice explained: “the prestige and stature of a member of the legal profession must be matched by a solemn commitment to be a guardian of truth and rule of law”.
He also said the heart of every lawyer’s mandate is the trust of the people because “lawyering is, more than anything else, a public service especially when we talk of access to justice by the disadvantage and marginalized.”
Moreover, he reminded the lawyers “as members of the legal profession, a lawyer is bound by his oath not only to protect the interests of his client but also to make the judicial system work.”
Chief Justice Corona closed his speech by giving his thanks to the IBP for walking the talk to prevent corruption from establishing deeper roots in the legal community.”
He reminded his fellow lawyers to go back in time and remind themselves how they felt when they first recited the oath of lawyers: “Remember how it felt to be bright-eyed, eager and youthful members of the Bar, resplendent as knights in shining armor and determined to conquer all the evil in the world. So it was then. So it can be now. All we need to do is to believe in ourselves and our God-given ability to live to the greatness and nobility of our chosen profession.”