The past two weeks saw the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Palawan, lose two distinguished members – Atty. Vic Tan and Atty. Francia Bueno.

Atty. Vic was IBP president in the early 80’s, my early years of law practice in Puerto Princesa City. He was from the UP College of Law: being from the same law school, he and I closely associated and in our frequent interaction, I learned that most of my law professors at UP had also been his law professors. He was into business, not much in law practice. As such, he became through the years, a strong pillar of Palawan’s economy having established landmark businesses in the city and in the southern Palawan. Atty. Vic also had active memberships in various civic organizations in the province. His was a truly well-lived life.

Atty. Francia, on the other hand, was my student at the Palawan State University (PSU) School of Law. Slightly older than most of the students in my classes, she exuded discipline and confidence, always prepared for recitation, not hesitant to get into class discussion of the events of the times. She went into law practice in Palawan forthwith upon passing the Bar exams, making good as a newcomer. I learned that a son of hers, also a product of PSU Law School, is now a member of the Bar. Had she been accorded a longer lifetime, who knows what more she could have achieved?

Our deepest condolences to their bereaved families!

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In the year 2006, while teaching political law at PSU law, I remember one of my students, the late Clarissa de los Angeles, who was in her 2nd year at law school when she became an unfortunate murder victim. I spoke in eulogy during her funeral and I remember saying that-

“From the tragic incident that led us to this sad moment, we saw the ending of life and the death of a dream. You who are the departed’s loved ones, her friends and classmates, know that her past, through brief, was a life full of promise. And just as well, you know that her future would also have been that way- so full of life, so full of hope.”

I mention this in relation to Atty. Francia’s passing: she who was not too old in age and still young in her legal practice. In both instances, there was not only the ending of young lives but the ending of dreams.

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Etched in the concrete façade of Malcolm Hall, seat of the University of the Philippines, College of Law at Diliman, Quezon City is the following-

        “The business of a law school is not only to teach

        law but to teach law in a grand manner…………”

Given PSU Law School’s track record in legal education, there is no doubt that the school is teaching law in a grand manner, made possible by a supportive university administration and college leadership, a qualified and competent faculty and enthusiastic, purpose-driven law students. The school’s numerous alumni, the faces of its grand teaching of law, would readily attest to this.

At PSU law school, as college dean, I remember putting in place a project with the help of the law student government to honor prominent Palaweño men of law. We named the halls and rooms in the building after them. Thus, we had a Judge Jose P. Rodriguez room, a Gov. Salvador P. Socrates room, a Fiscal Fernando Dilig room and an Atty. Perfecto De Los Reyes room. The law library was named the Vice Gov. Francisco F. Ponce de Leon library after my father. Just like the families of these late legal personalities we honored who improved their respective rooms, our family equipped it in a way to facilitate its effective use for law research and review.

During my deanship too, I encouraged our law students to come up with the school’s own law journal. I remember the first editor of the law journal was Lovellia Reyes-Hitosis now a municipal judge of Coron, Palawan. It was not only well-received but well-participated: our judges and law professors joined our law students in the publication of the journal. I wish the current crop of law students would find time to revive the law journal.

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