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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

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Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Raising The Bar

I am a relatively young member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines ("IBP"). Membership in the IBP is conferred automatically upon one who passes the bar. Having passed the bar after the Marcos years, my exposure to the association is mostly gentle reminders of our annual dues and the annual election of chapter officers.

Either out of apathy or ignorance, I never bothered with the goings-on at the IBP. Despite being an aggrupation of lawyers, controversy is not second skin although it had on several occasions attracted negative publicity though not in the magnitude of a scandal. Shakespeare notwithstanding, we, lawyers, are an agreeable lot.

The IBP has suffered some embarrassments before the Supreme Court. What greater slap was there than for the Supreme Court, in the case of Francisco v. House of Representatives, et al., to rebuke the IBP that it had no legal standing to participate in the case. Its allegation of the duty to preserve the law was far too generic to merit the right to be heard.

But today, I felt proud. Our president, Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz, who I do not know from Adam, announced that he, with the IBP at his back, will take up the cudgels to protect our civil and political rights. Tomorrow, he will march with the protesters and bloody his hands, as it were.

He will face the police behemoth. He will demand from the police the right to assemble peacefully and air their grievances. He will be there to be pushed back and be shoved aside. Not a known personality, he will be truncheoned by unidentified cops who will refuse to wear their name tags in contravention of B. P. Blg. 880. He will demand their names be revealed. He will demand that cops respect the rights enshrined in the constitution. It may well all be in vain but it will be worth it.

And like any rallyist, he may be bloodied but he will be unbowed.

It is time for the IBP to rise in the forefront of the fight against the encroachment of the basic constitutional right to air disagreeable views. The fight for truth and justice should not be limited to some left-leaning group. It should be the vocation of IBP. And Atty. Cadiz has just raised the bar of involvement among the members of the bar.

I may not know our IBP president but by tomorrow, Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz shall have earned my respect.

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