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SUPPLEMENT T THE PHILIPPINE LAW JURNAL
.22, 24, 204
122, 166, 333, 336
239, 269, 271, 334
.41, 99, 141, 180
.41, 99, 140, 180
.41, 140, 180
(Frontispiece I), 5, 23, 258
22, 91, 120, 166, 203, 257, 268, 310, 333
123, 204, 239, 289
166, 269, 333
.20, 91, 120, 166, 203, 237, 268, 310, 333
21, 89, 120, 121, 164, 202, 235, 266
90, 120, 164, 201, 235, 266
PHILIPPINE LAW JOURNAL
THE LAWYER WE NEED
Held July 2, 1917, University Hall.
I consider it a very great honor to be able to address you on this solemn occasion and to say a few words on our profession. I congratulate you for having chosen the law profession, not because I believe that the other professions arc not cqually as important, but because I am convinced that the lawyer is, and will always be, an indispensable factor in the progress and development of our country. Naturally, I speak of the good lawyer, not of the bad one; because in our profession, as in others, there are two kinds of men. We have the constructive and progressive lawyers, public-spirited, imbued with lofty ideals, benefactors of the people, and these men are useful. Then we have the other kind—the destructive ones, selfish and narrow-minded, men who follow no other ideal than that of getting rich, who are indifferent to honor and to professional ethics, and these men arc not only useless, but wholly dangerous.
The law profession is a double-edged weapon. It may be an evil or a blessing, depending on how it is understood and how it is practised. The word of the lawyer is still, and will always be, in our country the bible of the common masses. To many it has a certain indisputable seal of social authority. The lawyer of to-day has taken the place of the theologian of yesterday. The thcologian of yesterday monopolized the public conscience and even public opinion. The pricsts were our oracles. They were consulted in business, in marriages, in baptisms, in private and public fiestas, in agriculture, in religion, in law, in politics—in fact, in all the minute details of life. The books which have gone deepest into the heart of the people were the religious books, or those written by the priests, especially in the local dialects. This supremacy has been taken over by the lawyer to-day. The change of sovereignty, the separation of Church and State, the progress toward democracy, the principle of a government of laws and not of men, the institution of popular representation and of free speech, the establishment of an independent judiciary, and a thousand other circumstances, have worked for the preeminence of the lawyer in our social and political life. Our people have so understood it, and you have as a proof the
fact that nearly 55 per cent of the members of our Legislature since its foundation are lawyers, the most prominent leaders of our people are lawyers, and, with one single exception, all the members of our Cabinet åre lawyers.
You will therefore understand, my dear friends, the importance of the profession that you have chosen and the responsibility which you have taken upon yourselves. How
you will fulfill your mission and comply with your duty is a question which will depend exclusively upon yourselves, upon your conduct and your work. Of the two kinds of lawyers of which I have spoken to you, you can very easily find practical examples in your own respective provinces. You can distinguish very easily the lawyer without conscience, pettifogging, instigating troubles among our peaceful people, so that, to use a Spanish saying, he may fish in troubled waters, delaying judicial proceedings to get more pay, falsifying documents, and training witnessses in order to win. To him the law and procedure are a snare. He does not mind whether the jail is filled. He is indifferent to the fate of his country. His sols object is gain. You can easily distinguish from this type the honest lawyer, imbued with public spirit and responsibility, broadminded, looking ahead towards the progress of his people, giving impartial counsels instead of resorting to falsehood and chicanery, ready to yield generously rather than gain dishonestly—the man, in short, who is the protector of the weak, the guide of the blind, the supporter of his government, and the leader of his people. That is the kind of lawyer our country needs and will ever need.
The field of action of a public-spirited lawyer is already great, but will be even greater and more alluring in the future. The horizon before him will satisfy the golden dreams of the most ambitious young man. The coming greater development of our industry and other economic conditions will need eminent lawyers. The activities of our public administration, which is being rapidly Filipinized, will need eminent lawyers. The drafting of our laws, the technical help to our government, the legal counse) to so many organized activities, and especially the success of an entire department of our government—the Judicial Department-all these require the services of eminent lawyers.
Now I would like to ask, What contribution to this great work will be given by the lawyers coming from this College of Law? In a very few years, you yourselves will answer this question. I for one believe that the most important thing you should have is proper orientation, a definite policy and direction, a definite policy in the interpretation and construction of our statutes, a definite policy in the solution of all the public and private problems entrusted to your care, a definite policy, in short, in the formation and development of our own system of law. We need, above all, Philippine law gathered and developed and nourished by ourselves and not through foreign intervention. You must therefore give to your work the seal of your own generation. The generation that is about to go, the generation of heroes and patriots, will soon deliver to you their work already completed, the emancipation of our coiintry.