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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

SC Justice Singh to state lawyers: Uphold rule of law

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Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Maria Filomena Singh urges lawyers in government service to help in the administration of justice “by doing our work faithfu lly and upholding the rule of law.”

Singh, who was the vice-chairperson of the SC’s sub-committee for the revision o Conduct of Professional Responsibility and Accountability, reminded all lawyers that when they took their oath, they “automatically become officers of th court” and are “duty-bound to help in the administration of justice.”

The lady magistrate made the statement during her speech before government lawyers who attended the orientation on the CPRA held Dec. 1 in Quezon City.

Present during the event were lawyers from the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Commission on Audit, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Anti-Red Tape Authority, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.

The affair was spearheaded by Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) chairman Michael Aguinaldo and PCC Commissioners Marah Victoria Querol, Lolibeth Ramit-Medrano, and Ferdinand Negre.

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Also in attendance was Atty. Markus Meier, acting director of the Bureau of Competition of the United States Federal Trade Commission.

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo described the CPRA as the “bible” for all lawye and the “compass” that would direct them “towards moral and just conduct. /span>

The CPRA, which revised the 34-year-old Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR) of lawyers, was launched by the SC at the Manila Hotel last April 13 and became effective last May 30.

“Ethics is about everyday consciousness of what is proper and improper. It is a way of life,” Singh emphasized in he speech.

The new CPRA is in line with the “Campaign for Ethical Responsibility initiative un der Outcome 1: Efficiency of the Judiciary’s blueprint of action for judicia reform, the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI),” sh said.

According to her, the CPRA “is values-based, focusing on the Canons of Independence Propriety, Fidelity, Competence and Diligence, Equality, and Accountability.”

On request of the organizers and the participants, Justice Singh administered the New lawyer’s Oath to all the lawyers who attended the event.

Chief Justice Gesmundo had said that the CPRA “is no mere revision; it is an over haul — an overhaul on the approach and attitude by lawyers of their ethical responsibility in the new era of law practice — an era of more attuned, more responsible, and more accountable legal practice.”

“In a world where the rule of law is the cornerstone of justice, it is our duty, as members of the legal profession, to adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional responsibility,” Gesmundo said.

“In our pursuit of truth and justice, we must be mindful of fostering an environment of respect for law and of our fellow men and women. It is only by this manner that we can preserve the moral standard of society, promote the administration of justice, and contribute in building a more just and peaceful society for all,” he added.

The CPRA was approved unanimously last April 11 by the 15-justice SC after conducting Ethics Caravan–a series of consultative discussions–in the cities of Cebu, Davao, Naga, Baguio, and Manila.

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