The Social Science Society (SSS), in collaboration with the UST Legal Management Society, launched a legal-issue webinar along with other top institutions around the nation on April 23, 2022.
The fourth and last episode of the ‘What Type of Lawyer Are You?’ series, “Pro Bono Publico: A Webinar on Criminal Law, Litigation, and Human Rights” aimed to supplement the student body with adequate knowledge of Criminal Law, Litigation, and Human Rights in the Philippines, along with brain-tickling riddles and games.
The first speaker, Atty. Josalee S. Deinla, the Assistant Secretary-General of the National Union of People’s Lawyer (NUPL), directed the event with her talk regarding people’s lawyering where she tackled the moments in the life of a human rights lawyer. She dwelled on her experiences as a lawyer and how the stained society reflects that of fairness when it comes to judgment, rendering the poor and the low people the victims of the unbalanced culture. “The legal system is inherently lopsided against the poor and the oppressed, and we, the underdogs are few and are vastly outnumbered by the number of Filipino people who need our services,” she said.
Atty. Deinla also shared the reality in which the country is currently in: that the rich control the legal system, the poor are mistreated, and unfair penalties between the two social classes, even coming to a point where the human rights warriors are being red-tagged for merely fighting for what is right. “We, the lawyers from NUPL, are often red-tagged for demanding equality in judgment.”
Bar topnotcher, human rights, climate and environmental justice lawyer, Atty. Antonio G.M. La Viña JSD, the second speaker of the webinar, shared his experiences on how he first started pursuing human rights justice due to the atrocities he personally experienced during the late Marcos era, to his shift to environmental justice to further fight for climate change and the nation’s natural landscape. He also added that the shift of his focus allowed him to represent the indigenous people as the latter cried for justice against the private companies and state corporation projects which aim to destroy the native’s natural lands.
The final speaker and dean of the College of Law at Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Atty. Gemy Lito L. Festin LL.M., tackled the topics of the characteristics and qualifications of a “good lawyer”. He also relayed information regarding the process of criminal litigation from the investigation to the final verdict.
The UST Legal Management Society presented the What Type of Lawyer Are You? series for A.Y. 2021-2022, for students to explore media, corporate, criminal, and environmental laws.