THE Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Cebu has a new set of officers, one of whom is the second female president in its history.
Lawyer Mae Elaine Bathan was elected president of the IBP Cebu City chapter while lawyer Erwin Rommel Heyrosa was picked to lead the Cebu province chapter.
They and other elected officers ran unopposed.
The biennial IBP elections was held from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon in the courtroom of Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 9 for the Cebu City chapter while Cebu province lawyers voted in the social hall of the IBP building.
Bathan said she was “happy and relieved” with the results.
Bathan is the assistant dean of the University of San Jose-Recoletos’ College of Law where she graduated in 2004.
She was admitted to the bar in 2005 and became one of the directors, secretary, and vice president of the IBP Cebu City chapter.
Her aunt, Dean Cora Evangelista Valencia, was the first IBP female president elected in the late 90s.
Valencia, who used to head the University of San Carlos law school, is the current vice president for academics of the Cebu Institute of Technology (CIT) University.
The 34-year-old Bathan, one of the youngest presidents in IBP Cebu history, said she plans to strengthen the legal aid program and improve health benefits for lawyers.
Networking with different law schools for projects is another priority.
“We intend to go to different government units to make the IBP known to the public,” Bathan told Cebu Daily News.
She also said she hopes the Cebu Palace of Justice will be renovated and have an elevate installed.
Meanwhile, Heyrosa said he intends to transform what used to be the IBP canteen to a lawyers’ lounge.
“We have been planning to have a lawyers’ lounge since 2009. But the lawyers have not benefitted from that yet,” he told Cebu Daily News.
He said he will continue the programs of the IBP Cebu Province chapter which includes feeding and lecture series in various localities in the province.
“I’m grateful to my fellow lawyers for putting their trust on me,” said the 43-year-old Heyrosa who has two children with his wife Dr. Tess Heyrosa.
Heyrosa graduated law at the University of San Carlos in 1995. He passed the bar examinations the following year.
Heyrosa receieved 100 votes while Bathan received 190. Though all the candidates were unopposed, lawyers were still ask to cast their votes.
Bathan and Heyrosa will succeed incumbent IBP presidents Earl Bonachita and Ferdinand Pepito respectively.
The new set of IBP officers will hold office starting April 1.
The other elected officers in the IBP Cebu City chapter are Hidelito Pascual, vice president; Leslie Reyes, secretary; Christine Naranjo, treasurer; Piedad Gonzales, auditor; and Fillmore Gomos, public relations officer.
Elected directors for IBP Cebu City Chapter were lawyers Jose Glenn Capanas, Chad Rodolfo Miel, Mark Anthony Gaviola, Sue Belarmino, and Michelle Mendez-Palmares.
For the Cebu Province Chapter, Gonzalo Malig-on Jr. was elected vice president; Orpha Aredain, secretary; Angelito Ortiz, treasurer; Winifredo Orcullo Jr., auditor; and Mundlyn Misal-Martin, public relations officer.
The directors for the IBP Cebu Chapter includeVirginia Redelosa Jr., Ria Lidia Espina, Janice Monterola, Lielani Villarino, and Jarred Cabilte. Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol and Correspondent Edison delos Angeles