A total of 3,992 2022 Bar passers on Tuesday took their oath at the Philippine International Convention Center with all justices present, including Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo and Bar exam chair Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.
In his speech, Caguioa said the new lawyers should not think that they have accomplished everything after passing the Bar exams.
"Your tools as lawyers would be words, both written and spoken. They are your weapons for defending your clients against injustice. So please continue to sharpen them, continue your mastery of the craft, your mastery of the language," he said.
"Please do not think that because you have passed the bar exams, everything has been accomplished. No, no, no, far from it. Instead, this is only the beginning of your journey as lawyers," he said.
According to Caguoa, the eight passwords given to the examinees during their eight days of examination had a common thread that he called the "imprint of a lawyer."
"That is to say that a good lawyer must strive to, if not already possess, a delicate medley of virtues and skills. They must be critical thinkers as well as articulate advocates," he said.
Caguioa then recognized the top five law universities or schools with more than 100 candidates, which are the Ateneo de Manila University, the San Beda University, the University of the Philippines, the University of San Carlos, and the University of Santo Tomas.
Associate Justice Ramon Hernando, meanwhile, reminded the new lawyers that the profession is not simply a job.
"We all desire a comfortable life. Lawyering is indeed a means of earning a living and a very lucrative one at that. There is nothing wrong in the clean pursuit of prosperity," Hernando said.
"However, membership in the Bar is not a self-centered occupation. It is a delicate and jealous privilege, a dangerous mission towards fairness and justice, and an unbreakable relationship with society," he added.
The new lawyers will also sign the roll of attorneys on the same day. —VAL, GMA Integrated News