an encounter with the chief justice

up and up law paid tribute yesterday to chief justice reynato s. puno by hosting a testimonial luncheon at the executive house. cj puno is an alumnus of up law, who graduated in 1962. he is the 12th sc chief justice to have come from our college.

now, i'm not really a singer and i don't have illusions of becoming the next singing idol, but for a chance to meet the chief justice, i can sing anything, with coughs, colds and all.

as part of charivari, up law’s “organic” chorale in the words of prof. marvic leonen (i don’t know what he meant by that but the last time i heard the word organic was in chemistry and i always associate it with fertilizers), we sang here, there and everywhere of the beatles and the way you look tonight, and of course, the perennial lupang hinirang and up naming mahal.

the ceremony was brief, except that it started late. surprisingly, the dean’s speech was short. the chief justice’s speech was more of a tribute to the college, hailing it as the premier college of the premier university. “while the up college of law makes great lawyers, other colleges could only make notaries-public,” he said to that effect. this elicited chuckles from the crowd.

he went on to enumerate the achievements of his batch. apparently, 3 of the associate justices in the supreme court are his batchmates. haydee yorac also came from their batch, which i think is a statement by itself. their valedictorian and bar topnotcher (whose name i conveniently forgot) is now sought after by the bir.

in his speech, cj puno hinted at the direction his court will take in deciding major controversies. he said that he will neither take judicial activism nor judicial restraint as a policy but that he will listen to the people. how will he do that? he’ll turn to up, up having manifested on previous occasions that it knows the views of the people.

i don’t really mind bashing other schools. it’s school pride i suppose. maybe it’s just part of the tradition. but i don’t really buy the idea that up knows and can represent the views of the people. on what basis is the cj saying this? economic standing? last time i checked, there’s a disparity between the income of those attending up and the income of filipinos in general. political views? perhaps only in the sense that up is as divided as the whole country is on different matters. geographical representation? it’s a known fact that those who go to up mostly come from the metro manila area. and those who enter up law mostly come from either up or ateneo.

so much for that. he’s chief justice anyway so i’ll let him say whatever he wants. i was there not to critique his speech, but to see him in person.

when the time finally came to shake hands with him, alas, my terror prof was there! she too was just as eager to meet the chief justice, shaking his hands and meekly bowing her head before him. now that’s what i call a scene worth seeing!

fearing an encounter too close with the terrifying one might expose me to the risk of getting called in class (which was, uhm, 15 mins away at that time), i stepped back and waited until my prof left. too bad, i had to rush back to the college lest my prof gets to class ahead of me. oh well, there’s always a next time.

the good thing is that we did pose for a photo with the chief justice; the bad news is, i don’t have a copy!

simulblog with pics at: driven 2

No comments: