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On Target
Bar flunkers before, successful lawyers now

By Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:32:00 03/07/2009

Filed Under: Local authorities

A Supreme Court insider told me Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez took the examinations for would-be lawyers twice, passing the Bar on her second attempt.

This was confirmed by some of her classmates or batchmates at the Ateneo de Manila College of Law whose identities I promised not to reveal.

Gutierrez?s former classmate, defender and benefactor, Jose Miguel Tuason Arroyo or ?Mike? for short, took the Bar exams three times, passing on his third try, according to my spy at the high court.

However, the Supreme Court?s bar confidant, Cristina B. Layusa, refused to either confirm or deny the facts I gathered about the Ombudsman and the President?s husband.

The Office of the Bar Confidant is the keeper of records of all lawyers in the country.

Layusa, whom I talked with over the phone, said all records about lawyers with her office are confidential, and that only the courts can ask for them.

* * *

A person?s excellent performance in school does not guarantee success in the outside world.

He or she may have graduated at the bottom of his/her class, but may later perform well outside school and surpass brighter classmates.

A survey once made by the Harvard Graduate School found that most of its students who graduated at the bottom rung of the class surpassed their brighter classmates by ending up as owners of profitable business concerns, whereas their ?betters? became mere teachers or company CEOs.

Mike Arroyo and Merceditas Gutierrez might have been bar flunkers, but look at them now.

Arroyo and Gutierrez are among the most successful lawyers in the country today.

* * *

Two British nationals have been issued a cease and desist order by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly offering dubious securities to the public.

The two foreigners, who run a firm called Nomad Land Corp., were offering to sell public shares for the purchase and development of a Parañaque property worth P15 million.

The SEC reportedly has no record of a company under the name of Nomad Land Corp.

The group, according to SEC, has not informed investors that the property in question is under litigation before the Parañaque Regional Trial Court Branch 274, civil case No. 08-0350.

Although the SEC?s move is commendable for its timing in protecting the investing public, it?s still not enough.

A cease and desist order is just a tap on the hands of the company for violating Philippine laws.

What Nomad has done is a criminal offense. Why hasn?t the SEC filed criminal charges against the company officials?

And why aren?t the two British nationals deported yet?



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