The hearings before the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee on the corruption charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay reveal to us how supposedly bright lawyers could look so dumb in an effort to insulate their clients from being charged with the scams they themselves concocted to circumvent the law.
One brilliant jurist knew the Rules of Court like the back of his hand. He was a much-sought-after practitioner whose services had been engaged to defend high-profile public officials like former chief justice Renato Corona. We saw him in action during the Corona impeachment trial. He made mincemeat of the prosecution’s case. Pundits agreed that had Corona stuck to the jurist’s game plan (i.e., to bite his tongue and not to testify before the senator-judges), his acquittal on grounds of reasonable doubt would have been a foregone conclusion. For, indeed, the jurist, with sheer mastery of the trial rules, had succeeded in having heaps of evidence against his client suppressed or excluded. But the chief justice believed so much in his own brilliance. Alas, his own testimonial theatrics removed many a lingering doubt about his guilt.
By Oscar Franklin Tan
This week, another batch of law students will have wasted an extra year of their lives to study for the month-long bar exam. This is in addition to four years of law school where every moment was defined by the bar. It is high time the Philippines got rid of its unique obsession with what was supposed to be a simple licensure exam that mutated into a rite of passage and national spectacle.
My uncle, 70 years of age, continues to practice law. He is good and still alert.
By Michael L. Tan
What a week it was in April, with commencement exercises and recognition rites. It was also a week where I got to listen to four speeches—from two of the country’s most eminent lawyers, a new law graduate, and a student who finished economics, summa cum laude, and who will enter law school in August.