After the announcement of the Supreme Court that 982 out of 4,847 passed the 2010 bar exams, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino urged the country’s new lawyers to “be of service to the rights and welfare of the people by not being a Merceditas Gutierrez.”
According to Palatino, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez is “antithetical to what an ideal lawyer should be. Instead of swinging the hand of justice to help in the solving of various corruption cases, she chose to side with the wrong and protect powerful government officials.”
Palatino added that “emulating Merceditas Gutierrez is tantamount to unclothing oneself of righteousness.”
The Congress plenary is set to vote next week on Gutierrez’s impeachment case.
Palatino, one of the endorsers of the impeachment case, said “that the law should always be for the greater good. Unfortunately for Merci, the law functions to preserve corruption and social injustices in the country.”
“Our new lawyers, more than being law practioners, should strive to be agents of social change. The laws that rule our land are not something that necessarily benefit the majority, especially the poor. There are many laws that do not adhere to the fundamental idea that the law should first and foremost embrace the people’s welfare,” Palatino said.
Palatino also lamented that “our country is filled to the brim of bright lawyers, but not all are righteous lawyers. I call on our new lawyers to remain faithful to the path of social justice and equality. Shun the temptation of corruption. Stand against injustice. Qui tacet consentire (Who is silent gives consent).”
Palatino likewise urged the new layers to be active in the quest for truth and justice, especially in light of the impeachment cases filed against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.
“Now, more than ever, our country is in need of energized and principled lawyers to amplify our fight against social ills. The impeachment case against Ombudsman Gutierrez signifies the spark of our intensified battle against corruption and all that makes our country stuck in poverty and abjection. I beckon our new lawyers to contribute their skills and talents to this cause,” he said.