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Should lawyers be inspired by Accra or?

THE JULY 4 Inquirer featured a book, titled 'Accra and the Post-Bellum Bar' by Nick Joaquin (Lifestyle Arts and Books), about the rise to prominence of five lawyers: Edgardo Angara, Jose Concepcion, Avelino Cruz, Teodoro Regala and Manuel Abello (order rearranged to fit the acronym). They set up a law firm, now called Accra, in 1971 in the last year of the second term of Ferdinand Marcos' presidency. Marcos declared martial law in 1972 to perpetuate himself in power.

Accra has never denied the general perception that it was its services that Marcos tapped during his dictatorial regime to devise 'legal' ways and means of hiding ill-gotten wealth. The firm was said to be so smart and clever that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), created by the late president Cory Aquino in 1986 to recover that wealth here and abroad, could only find crumbs, decoys and red herrings! The main bulk of that wealth estimated by the PCGG to be in the billions of US dollars has remained hidden in intractable legal labyrinths to this day.

We don't know if lawyers in the country should find inspiration from Accra's 'extraordinary success' or tear up the oath they swore to, which in essence obligates them to do what is right and never consent to the doing of any wrong.

Former Ateneo de Manila College of Law dean Pompeyo Diaz once said: 'There are men in any society who are so self-serving that they try to make the law serve their selfish ends. In this group of men is a man of the law who has no conscience. He has in the arsenal of his knowledge the very tools by which he can poison and destroy society and bring it to an ignoble end.'

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:6GHAN
Date:Jul 9, 2016
Words:339
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