13 April 2011

Belmonte cites lawyers’ role in nation-building

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte cited the role of lawyers in nation-building, as he graced the closing ceremonies of the 13th national convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in this free port over the weekend.

Lawyers, he said, “are the most responsible in making our democracy work through their guidance and leadership.”

Belmonte also reminded lawyers that they are the social architects and engineers who design and build the society, and that they have extensive influence in the formation of a nation.

He likewise recognized the challenges faced by lawyers in solving novel and complex legal problems. “This is why the study of law requires mental discipline, logical thinking and organization of ideas,” Belmonte said.

Some 2,000 lawyers from different chapters of the IBP attended the three-day convention at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center on April 7-9, the biggest convention turnout so far in the organization’s history.

Notable lawyers such as Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Francis Escudero, Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, and Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Acosta graced the affair.

At the same time, Belmonte cited the gains made by the House of Representatives under his helm, pointing out that it has achieved the highest approval rating in post-Martial Law years due to the integrity and competency of current House members.

“Leadership by example is one of the deterrents against corruption,” Belmonte stressed in his speech.

Belmonte also mentioned that the budget for this year was approved by both houses of the Senate and by President Aquino before the year 2010 ended.

He added that another accomplishment eyed by the House is the passage of House Bill No. 4067, or the GOCC (government-owned or controlled corporation) governance bill that both Houses have already approved.

He said that they are just waiting for the bill to be signed into law. If the GOCC governance bill is signed, it would be the first law to be passed this year, he added.

House Bill No. 4067, which is principally authored by Belmonte, recognizes the potentials of GOCC’s as significant tools for economic development, and ensures that their operations are consistent with national development policies and programs. The bill covers all GOCC’s, including all government instrumentalities with corporate powers and government corporate entities. (SBMA Corporate Communications)