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Such a ‘rotten example’ for law students

/ 12:03 AM August 28, 2014

The paid ad of lawyer Ferdinand Topacio in the Inquirer Aug. 18 issue was quite amusing. Why he wasted oodles of money just to remind lawyers to rally behind his call to help preserve “judicial integrity and  independence” in the midst of a turf war between the Supreme Court and Malacañang may well be seen as a sleazy attempt to smarm up to the “gods of Padre Faura.”  We have seen a lot of that in the news lately from other “concerned lawyers” and the “sipsip” Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) no less.

But were these lawyers ever heard from when the Supreme Court got embroiled in some past controversy of its own making?  Was there any protest from them about the “special treatment” the Supreme Court was always giving to cases handled by a lawyer who is generally perceived as the “most privileged” law practitioner in the country?  That revelation in the media unmistakably gave the impression that the Supreme Court was not above suspicion, not above playing favorites.

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Our law professor told us that from his own experience, ordinary practitioners routinely get rejected whenever they file motions for reconsideration. Hubris makes it almost impossible for the “high and mighty” to admit they screwed up. But when it was that “special” lawyer coming in to file even a third or fourth motion for reconsideration (or even just a letter), the entire Supreme Court seemed to have no problem giving him the time of day.  And only God knows how many other “more privileged” practitioners enjoy such clandestine access to the Supreme Court!

No matter how one might look at it, it was foul and unfair to the other lawyers in the entire archipelago who have no “hotline” to the justices and can only hope their cases would be decided on the merits. It was such a rotten example for law students like us.  Why the IBP and the other “concerned lawyers” just stood idly by as if that was no big deal sickens law students like us.

—GABRIELLE MICHELLE M. AGUILLERA,

[email protected]

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TAGS: Ferdinand Topacio, IBP, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, law students, Padre Faura, Supreme Court
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