By By Fernan A. Gianan
IBP’s Mendoza on lawyers and legal aid
posted 4-Mar-2019  ·  
642 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

That was a long accomplishment report that outgoing IBP Catanduanes chapter president Atty. Leo Mendoza rendered last Saturday morning before 21 of its 121 members during the election of officers for 2019-2021.

He noted that despite the increase of local IBP members year after year, with eight added in 2018, “the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.”

Mendoza wonders why, with its 260,000-plus population, Catanduanes has only 121 lawyers most of whom are practicing in Metro Manila and only about five are actually serving clientele in local courts here.

Would the introduction of law instruction at the Catanduanes State University solve this dearth of attorneys on the island? Perhaps, if the current CSU administration pushes hard for the establishment of a College of Law.

*****

In the same message to his fellow lawyers, the former San Andres mayor and now soon-to-be come-backing vice mayor candidly admitted that some of the ambitious but doable programs and projects proposed under his leadership were not realized due to lack of material time, personnel and other resources.

However, he cited as a glowing symbol of his officers’ accomplishment the vigorous implementation of the IBP Legal Aid Program, which has served 42 civil and criminal cases and consultations, covering only the period from April 2017 to November 2018, as well as regular visits to jails for counseling and consultation with IBP clients. Mendoza particularly lauded the work done by Legal Aid Program chairman Atty. Rizalina Tañon and the volunteerism of Atty. Tito Tonio and Atty. William Cabrera.

It is also during his term (it ends in April 2019) that the Testimonial Dinner for new bar passers was institutionalized, with the chapter holding it twice to honor the sacrifices of the new lawyers and their parents.

*****

That same evening, the IBP chapter officers and members gathered at Plaza Rizal in Virac for its Post-Valentine Raffle Bonanza and Beer Plaza intended to raise funds for the Legal Aid Program.

“This is intended to help indigent clients turned over to us by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and encourage private practitioners to engage in this endeavor,” Atty. Mendoza disclosed.

He lamented the very meager financial support being given by the IBP national office in the amount of P19,000-plus quarterly or about P6,000 monthly, “kulang na kulang sa kadakul na mga kaso” that private lawyers are somehow disappointed or disheartened.

Regarding the SC requirement for new lawyers to render pro bono legal service for 120 hours in the first two years of their practice, almost all of them are unavailable due to their working outside the province.

Yes, Mendoza said, the IBP lawyers can serve even without funding, but he quoted St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta who once said, “Yes, even without money we can serve, but with money we can serve better.”

*****

     On behalf of the Tribune management, I wish to thank our writers who labor to inform and entertain you week after week, as well as the newsboys and distributors bringing you, dear readers, copies of the island’s oldest and most credible newspaper for 38 years now.

    God bless you all!!!

*****

IT WAS THE HORSE. The Queen of England and George W. Bush are riding in the royal carriage down Pall Mall chatting politely when one of the horses breaks wind. The smell is terrible and both the Queen and the President are too embarrassed to say anything until the Queen has to breal the silence.

    “Mr. President, I’m so terrible sorry. As you now realize, there are some thingd over which even the Queen of England has no control.”

    Very graciously, President Bush replies, “Think nothing of it, Your Majesty. If you had not said anything, I would have thought it was the horse.”


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