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IBP holds Southern Luzon regional convention

Press Release
January 25, 2023

PASIG CITY – Officials from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Supreme Court of the Philippines, judges and other officials of the Judiciary, public prosecutors, public attorneys, and key officials from the Province of Laguna participated in the IBP Southern Luzon Regional Convention on January 20, 2023 at The Bellevue Manila, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Notable personalities in attendance were Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, Supreme Court Associate Justices Ramon Paul L. Hernando and Jose Midas Marquez, Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva, Vice Governor of the Province of Laguna Karen Agapay, Judge Dennis Juso Rafa of RTC Branch 154 of Biñan, Laguna, and Judge Elisa Ramirez Sarmiento- Flores of RTC Branch 71 of Pasig City.

The regional convention, titled Revolutionizing the IBP and the Legal System, was another historic gathering of members of the legal profession to discuss different ideas on changing the legal system by adopting new technologies in the dispensation of justice.

Commencing the start of the regional convention, IBP Governor for the Southern Luzon Region Jerwin J. Lopez conveyed to everyone present that fellowships such as this regional convention are an integral part of the IBP life. Through these gatherings, friendship, camaraderie, and solid vital relationships are built and fostered. He thanked and congratulated all representatives of all chapters under his region for all their accomplishments and credits their successes to their dedication, as especially highlighted by their chapter presidents and officers who allotted time away from their private practice, their families, and from their ownselves, just to be of service to the people, the country, and to their fellow lawyers through the IBP.

In closing, Governor Jerwin Lopez thanked Supreme Court Justices Alexander G. Gesmundo, Ramon Paul L. Hernando, and Jose Midas Marquez, who, despite their busy schedules, have taken the time to grace this event. According to him, this goes to show that the highest court in the land truly regards the IBP as its indispensable partner in the administration and dispensation of justice. Along with this, the Supreme Court, no matter how regal and majestic its stature may be, becomes a humble servant of the country and the people when justice is at the forefront of the conversation.

In his keynote speech, Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo reaffirmed the Supreme Court’s commitment of providing a legal system that is swift, just, and modern through the Supreme Court’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 or SPJI. In line with the theme of the regional convention, Chief Justice Gesmundo said that "We cannot overemphasize that the SPJI is necessary to reinvigorate and retool the judicial system. The Court must consistently be proactive and continuously innovate at this time of greater uncertainties and challenges." He shared that the IBP has been a staunch partner in furthering the causes of the Court such as the continuous improvement of procedural rules and the use of information technology.

Adding to what was shared by the Chief Justice, Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando spoke about the importance of modernizing the Bar Exams. In his words, he stressed the importance of modernizing the manner of admitting new members of the Bar in keeping with the best practices that other legal jurisdictions observe and implement in their respective areas. He reiterated the Supreme Court’s goal of shifting to a modern and receptive legal profession.

IBP National President Burt M. Estrada reminded everyone that as lawyers, they all have sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws. And so, they are regarded as sentinels of the rule of law. He stressed the continuing obligation to uphold the rule of law and gain the people’s trust in the legal system. In doing so, lawyers should lead by example. As he said, lawyers are regarded as sentinels of the rule of law. Because of this, the IBP is mandated to assist in the proper administration of justice. In closing, he encouraged everyone to be agents of positive change for the IBP, our legal system, and our country.