Jovy: Brilliant mind, brave heart
With the passing of Jovito “Jovy” R. Salonga, a glorious generation of great lawyers is gone. He belonged to a generation of lawyers who wore their title as a badge of honor and stood for the highest ideals of freedom, nationalism and good governance.
Salonga exuded the noble purpose of the legal profession by being an instrument of truth and justice, rather than a gladiator for a price or reward. He was brilliant in his practice of the law and statesmanship; but more than this, he had a brave heart. He wielded his intellect and stature to advocate for democracy, uphold national sovereignty and restore integrity in public service. Despite belated patches of foggy memories, he was the paragon of true statesmanship—honest, competent and self-sacrificing.
Subsequent generations of lawyers have not completely filled the void Salonga and his peers have left. This is the greatest challenge, and at the same time a stinging critique of the legal profession where not a few are wanting in principles and self-abnegation, unable to shun the lure of power, fame, fortune and other self-serving motivations.
We shall continue to carry on the burden and mission of Salonga and his breed of lawyers par excellence, and honor his legacy, with the hope that someday the same mold of brilliant, brave and patriotic advocates will rise from the surfeit of lawyers in this land of so much injustice.
—EDRE U. OLALIA, secretary general, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, [email protected]
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