Today, June 26, 2020, the Philippines Supreme Court conducted a virtual oath -taking of 2,013 new Lawyers, representing roughly 27% of the total (7,685) Bar Examinees for 2019. The said mode of oath taking was adopted to keep everyone safe and prevent the potential spread of Covid19 virus.
The presentation of the new lawyers which was live streamed on YouTube and broadcast nationwide on TV, and as shown on screens of lap tops, ipads, smart phones and other tech gadgets, was quite unique and amazing – it was the first time ever to have that kind of swearing in of new lawyers. While the new lawyers (presented in batches and grouped alphabetically) were shown on screen with their photos and names on it, the images however were not clear enough even in large screens. Sigh
For the newly inducted lawyers, this significant event in their lives could perhaps be filled with mixed emotions: happy and sad. Happy, because after the many obstacles and challenges, sweat and tears during their studies, reviews and exams, they were finally able to achieve their most sought after dream i.e.to pass the Bar and be a Lawyer. Sad and heartbreaking, because they would have opted to have a standard oath-taking at a grand venue with their proud loved ones in tow.
Still, what happened today was a momentous event not only to the new batch of lawyers, but also to those in the legal profession and to everyone as well. This Covid19 pandemic has broken the traditional way of conducting the said celebration, and at the same time, is teaching us to embrace the new normal way of life. Hopefully for the better!
(Speech of Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen...)