Bicol lawyers set reg’l confab here

By Jason B. Neola NAGA CITY --- Around 200 lawyers and selected law students from the different law schools in Bicol will be converging here for the three-day regional convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippine (IBP) Bicolandia Region on September 12-14 at Villa Caceres Hotel, here. IBP Governor for Bicolandia Region Atty. Elaine Gay Rañeses-Belen said the annual gathering will bear the theme, “Reexamining the Role of IBP as Sentinel of the Rule of Law.” The first day will be ushered in by a sports fest among the region’s law practitioners and the unveiling of a street sign named in honor of the organization, to be called IBP Drive. Atty. Ferdinand Dino, IBP Camarines Chapter president, will welcome the guests while Naga City Mayor John Bongat, himself a lawyer, will deliver an inspirational message and present the symbolic key to Naga City. On the second day, IBP Bicolandia Governor Atty Belen will call the convention to order, to be highlighted with the message by IBP National President Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo and the keynote address by her Excellency, Vice President Leni Robredo, who happens to be a member, too, of the IBP Camarines Chapter. After lunch will be the speech by former Solicitor General Atty. Florin Hilbay who will talk on the Independence and Interdependence of the Three Branches of Government. This will be followed by Atty. Liwayway Vinzons-Chato, former BIR Commissioner, who will talk on the TRAIN Law and its Nuances. On day three, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales will discuss on “Accountability of Public Servants and the Rule of Law.” A presentation by AMLC Executive Director Atty. Mel Georgie Racela on “Assessing the Philippine Anti-Money laundering Regime and International Standards will follow. After lunch, also on the third day, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevara will expound on “DOJ: Upholding the Rule of Law.” The convention will culminate after the plenary to be presided over by IBP Bicolandia Governor Belen, with the closing remarks to be delivered by Atty. Edwin Rana, president of IBP Masbate Chapter.