Value of a non-lawyer’s opinion on purely legal issues | Inquirer Opinion
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Value of a non-lawyer’s opinion on purely legal issues

09:54 PM November 24, 2011

Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, dean of the Graduate School of Law of San Beda College, described as “patently lame” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s legal position that the TRO issued by the Supreme Court, which would have allowed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband to leave the country, was not as yet final, hence, cannot be enforced. (Inquirer, 11/17/11) He also said De Lima’s strong opposition to the implementation of the TRO was “extremely shameful for a lawyer.”

Father Aquino is not a member of the Philippine Bar, hence, he is a non-lawyer from the country’s point of view. Either he did not finish law school or he flunked or was afraid to take the bar examination. Being a non-lawyer, he has no right at all to give his opinion on constitutional and purely legal issues. His purported legal opinion carries no weight and, at best, is a political propaganda for Arroyo. As a Bedan lawyer, I am extremely surprised how and why Father Aquino, a non-lawyer, ever became the dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law. It does not augur well for San Beda’s reputation as one of the prime law schools in the country.

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It would be a pleasure to debate with Father Aquino on constitutional and purely legal issues, or even face him as an adversary counsel in a trial before a court of law which has authority to resolve the issues. Unfortunately, this cannot happen because Father Aquino is not a lawyer.

So, Father Aquino, please shut up. Your adventurism on purely legal issues does not matter anyway to the Philippine Bar.

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—REX G. RICO,

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TAGS: Arroyo Travel, fr. Ranhilio aquino, graduate school of san beda college, Leila de Lima, letters, Supreme Court, TRO
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