Up­hold rule of law and pro­mote hu­man dig­nity, Bi­nay urges lawyers

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - By JEL SAN­TOS

For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Je­jo­mar “Jojo” Bi­nay has called on all lawyers to up­hold and de­fend the rule of law and help pro­mote hu­man dig­nity.

He is­sued the call when he was con­ferred the “Dayaw Iti Ami­anan” award by the In­te­grated Bar of the Philip­pines(IBP) - North­ern Lu­zon re­cently.

“I be­lieved then, and I

be­lieve more strongly now, that the pur­pose of law is to en­sure that each in­di­vid­ual is given the op­por­tu­ni­ties to pros­per within a just and demo­cratic so­ci­ety. The true mea­sure of a work­ing democ­racy is in the value it places on the rights of its cit­i­zens – in­clud­ing his right to dig­nity and to im­prove him­self,” he said in his ac­cep­tance speech on Novem­ber 30 at Pul­sar Ho­tel in Tugue­garao City, Ca­gayan.

Bi­nay re­it­er­ated that lawyers must re­spect and ad­here to the rule of law, say­ing with­out such “there will be no or­der or sta­bil­ity, only chaos.”

“Dis­re­spect for the rule of law and the ju­di­ciary as an in­de­pen­dent in­sti­tu­tion breeds in­sta­bil­ity, so­cial and po­lit­i­cal strife, and im­pedes our progress as a na­tion.”

Bi­nay, who served as mayor of Makati, said the lo­cal gov­ern­ment is a po­tent in­stru­ment for valu­ing the rights and dig­nity of each cit­i­zen.

In­vest­ing in the ed­u­ca­tion, health, wel­fare, and gen­eral well-be­ing of the poor is, in ef­fect, rec­og­niz­ing and uphold­ing their dig­nity, he noted.

“So­cial pro­grams are not char­ity. They are en­ablers. They al­low each cit­i­zen to be­come bet­ter per­sons and bet­ter cit­i­zens,” he con­tin­ued.

When he was still vice pres­i­dent, he said he fo­cused on finding new av­enues and ap­proaches that would un­der­score the re­spon­si­bil­ity of lawyers as “agents of the law and jus­tice.”

In Au­gust, 2017, Bi­nay es­tab­lished the Univer­sity of Makati (UMak) School of Law to “de­velop fu­ture Filipino lawyers who are ex­cel­lent in both the the­ory and prac­tice of law.”

The for­mer vice pres­i­dent bragged that UMak School of Law is the only law school in the coun­try that of­fers full schol­ar­ships for an en­tire batch.

“Tu­ition and miscellaneous fees are waived for qual­i­fied en­rollees, in­clud­ing res­i­dents and non-res­i­dents of Makati, who are pro­vided with semes­tral book stipend and monthly liv­ing al­lowance. Its fac­ulty in­cludes law pro­fes­sors from the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines, Ate­neo, San Beda and De La Salle.”

“We hope that through our School of Law, Makati can con­trib­ute to pro­fes­sion­al­iz­ing the prac­tice of law, and pro­duce ex­cel­lent lawyers who are mind­ful of their role in so­ci­ety,” Bi­nay said in end­ing his ac­cep­tance speech.

IBP North­ern Lu­zon said Bi­nay was given the “Dayaw Iti Ami­anan” award for hav­ing “reached the high­est level in pub­lic ser­vice among the liv­ing lawyers of the re­gion.”

“[Bi­nay's] dy­namic and vi­brant ex­pe­ri­ences as a hu­man rights lawyer, lo­cal and na­tional gov­ern­ment ex­ec­u­tive, and as Vice Pres­i­dent ed­ify and in­spire his col­leagues in the le­gal pro­fes­sion,” it added.

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