A call to our future people’s lawyers
Now that the future people’s lawyers have hurdled the four Sundays of the bar examinations, the gruelling wait begins. But the time between the last stroke of their pens on their final exam booklet and the announcement of how they fared in the exams need not be spent in anxious waiting.
The current disposition of the state toward glorifying or sanctioning fascism—as shown by the body count left by premeditated killings in the aggressive war on drugs, the continuing attacks against activists and civilian communities, the casual toying with martial rule powers, and the deification of a proven tyrant and plunderer—makes it exigent for the ranks of people’s lawyers to swell to such an extent that the culture of impunity, which engenders systemic violence and authoritarian tendencies, is challenged tirelessly, ceaselessly and consistently in all conceivable forums where knowledge of the law is the designated weapon of choice.
Because the people in the margins of society, those who are proverbially deserving to have “more in law,” the nameless millions, do not have the inclination to demand that a person should have the coveted title “attorney” before he or she joins their struggle.
Because for those in the eye of the storm of history, the wait and the weight of titular prospects are, indeed, fleeting and feathery.
Thus, we challenge these future lawyers to become part of the “torrent” as early as now. We challenge them to spend the following days of supposed ambiguity, locked in arms with the people who are certain in their struggle for social justice. The people need them already. They should not keep them waiting.
EPHRAIM B. CORTEZ,
secretary general, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers,
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.