By ALEX D. LOPEZ
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – More than 3,500 lawyers from different parts of the country will arrive in this premier city for the 14th national convention and 40th anniversary of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on 17 to 19 of January at the SMX convention center in SM Lanang.
Carlos Isagani Zarate, former president of IBP Davao Chapter, in a press briefing said IBP was born 40 years ago in the country’s critical period during Martial Law declared by the late president Ferdinand Marcos.
The group played a crucial role in defending human rights amidst the dictatorship under the leadership of its first president, former Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Benedicto Luna (JBL) Reyes.
Zarate added that Davao and the province of Davao del Sur share important places in the history of IBP, where three of its lawyers were arrested during Martial Law, namely former IBP Davao president Laurente ‘Larry’ Ilagan, Regional Prosecutor Antonio Arellano and Atty. Marcos Risonar.
He also said other lawyers offered their lives in their duties to defend human rights.
The national convention will have the mandatory continuing education which will focus on topics related to the justice system, election laws and the improvement of services to the people.
Another important discussion will be the framework agreement on Bangsamoro with newly-appointed Supreme Court Justice and government peace negotiator Marvic Leonen.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno is reported to grace the grand ball on January 17.
Other distinguished guests are Senator Edgardo Angara, former IBP national president who will be the guest of honor and speaker on the opening ceremony and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano who will join the lawyers during the luncheon treat on the same date. (Alex D. Lopez, davaotoday.com)