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Decent lawyers morph into mercenaries

12:00 AM April 06, 2015

I HAD BEEN thrown out of boot camp. They literally kicked my legal a–.

Boot camp is how I call my latest legal adventure because I find no better way to describe my participation at a recall election proceeding in Bulacan than this.

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The whole legal process seems simple enough. Lawyers are called to either defend or denounce the manner that the signatures on the recall petition are

being examined to determine whether they are authentic or fake.

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However, this process is proving to be the legal profession’s version of the

Mamasapano incident in sheer savagery and pure intensity of emotions except that, thank God, we don’t see blood.

I became one of the casualties after only three days of the skirmishes and may have left something of myself on the battlefield. If I have my way, I would obliterate the word “retreat” from my vocabulary. In my heart, I know I have what it takes to refuse to be pulled out of the fight for as long as there is a heartbeat left in me. But the war out there demanded more from me than my physical and mental strength, more than any amount of courage I could deliver.

There is something in the marching order (which I am not at liberty to disclose) separating those who can and others, including myself, who just cannot.

I guess it’s a unique trait only few people have, the ability to be willing to cross the line, to spit out pride to be able to ingest and chew and ultimately swallow the vile of corruption that makes others vomit. In other words, to feed on what even starving dogs couldn’t force themselves to eat.

Somehow I am saddened at the sight of decent lawyers transforming into mercenaries especially as this happened the day after the list of the latest successful bar examinees was announced.

It breaks my heart to read the news of how two of my brother-lawyers at the recall proceedings in Meycauayan, Bulacan, came to blows because what they knew about the law was not enough to show which of the two of them was right.

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The black eye that they probably dealt each other, the profession will probably be wearing as a badge of shame, much longer than the protagonists themselves will be wearing theirs.

The consolation from being forced to quit is the preservation of my dignity. At the end of the day I realized that I would rather sweat from an honest day’s work under the sun than perspire because of rattled nerves in counting easy money. I would rather draw blood—real blood from a cut nerve, rather than draw laughter for my stupidity.

I would rather cry for real than cry wolf.

—ADEL ABILLAR,

[email protected]

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