Malacañang to 2018 Bar exam passers: Integrity highest virtue in law profession
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang advised passers of the 2018 Bar examinations to cultivate the virtue of integrity as it congratulated the country's incoming batch of lawyers.
"As they prepare to take their oaths and sign in the roll of attorneys, we urge them to inculcate in their minds that integrity is the highest in the hierarchy of virtues in the legal profession," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Friday, May 3, a few hours after the Supreme Court announced the names of the successful Bar exam takers.
He urged them to join government, saying their youth and idealism are "welcome" in the Duterte administration.
"We hope that many of our country’s new lawyers consider pursuing a career in the government and help build a progressive and peaceful nation that will provide a comfortable life for all," said Panelo, himself a lawyer.
Panelo emphasized the importance of non-partisanship and fairness in a lawyer.
"Learning the law is a never-ending process. Its practice is faced with endless challenges and a constant wrestling with conscience as we ought to remove our partisanship, personal feelings, and biases as well as prejudices when a question of law or a case subject of litigation is thrown to our lap for the application of the letter and spirit of the law," he said.
Panelo gave the advice to the newest members of his profession as the Duterte administration continued to be accused of twisting the law to attack its critics and other dissenting voices as amplified by groups on Friday, World Press Freedom Day.
Journalism watchdogs and media groups, for instance, have slammed the government for bending the law in order to give attacks against Rappler and its CEO Maria Ressa a veneer of legality.
Lawyers have accused Duterte of "reinventing the law" when he attempted to nullify Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's amnesty.
On Wednesday, May 2, Panelo had to fend off questions about the appropriateness of releasing an "ouster plot matrix" before ascertaining its source and veracity. Legal questions also hound the arrest of a man accused of sharing "Bikoy" videos which allege Duterte and those close to him of links to the illegal drug trade.
Panelo had also insisted the President, a lawyer, is a man of integrity who "does not lie" and release unvalidated information despite incidents proving otherwise. – Rappler.com