Just across the University of Santo Tomas where at least 6,000 are about to take their bar examinations, bar candidates and members of the legal profession – lawyers, professors, and paralegals – staged a picket protest as they “mourn” the recent Supreme Court decision, allowing a hero’s burial for ousted strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
“We wear black today while you take your Bar to mourn and protest the way justice has been diminished again with no compunction. But we also wear black to signify that we will not forget this dark night in our legal history,” said Neri Colmenares, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) chairman, and Ephraim Cortez in a joint statement.
The NUPL led today’s protest. They were joined by martial law victims and human rights activists.
In an appeal to her fellow bar candidates, Maria Sol Taule said they must go beyond memorizing provisions of the law and parroting Latin maxims.
“We need to be focused on the remaining Sundays, but we should not be like horses with blinders and keep going, ignoring the injustices along our way and accepting them as invariable. We do not set them aside and consider them less important and urgent than passing the bar exams,” Taule said.
The NUPL said, “Our rage is as dark as the night; our memory just as long. We will continue to rage as we mourn. But we will help change things. Who knows, we might, with the power of the people scorned, even be able to put sense in the heads of the gods and show their way clear.”