For the first time in the forty-year history of Mindanao State University College of Law, it held its first joint Virtual General Assembly with more than 700 online participants from all three campuses from Marawi, General Santos, and Iligan City on May 8, 2021 via Zoom.
The new Dean, Atty. Anabelle B. Cañarez-Mindalano, emphasised in her opening remarks the importance of turning adversity into opportunities in view of the global health crisis brought by Covid-19. She addressed the growing concerns of law students and the challenges in distant learning and virtual environments. The Dean also included in her opening remarks that the MSU College of Law will continue to move forward despite the challenges from this global crisis. She highlighted how the pedagogy is transforming. The college is now increasingly focused on helping students experience the legal profession first-hand through the Clinical Legal Education Program. “The MSU College of Law has commenced the integration of the Clinical Legal Education Program in the basic law curriculum for this semester in the Iligan Campus,” she added.
Meanwhile, a keynote address was delivered by the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the former Dean of MSU College of Law, Atty. Alizedney M. Ditucalan, L.l.M. Vice-Chancellor Zed stressed out in his remarks the vision of disruptive innovation intends to break with the established model to improve the existing one.He also expressed some of the recent developments and achievements of the College of Law. Almost 90% of faculty members are already securing an LLM, and the college is already a member of the Asian Legal Information Network. VC Zed ended his keynote address by sharing some tips on how to manage online learning. He mentioned eight key components: mindset, accountability, time management, creation of space, innovation,active participation, and network leverage.
The virtual gathering also served as an avenue for discussing the history of Mindanao State University and the inception of the MSU College of Law.
“It was in 1961 where the National Government, through the sponsorship of the Late Senator Alonto who saw the need for the creation of an institution for higher learning that will address the educational needs of Moro, Non-Moros and Lumads, in Mindanao.” Atty. Norhabib bin Suod Barodi, Assistant Dean of MSU Marawi Main campus, stated.
“A historical event that occurred in 1977, the promulgation of Presidential Decree 1083, otherwise known as the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines, paved the way for creating the Shariah Courts Philippines. Subsequently, the need for Judges, Lawyers and Prosecutors arises. The Board of Regents of the Mindanao State University then saw the need to establish the MSU College of Law to fill in the vacancies in the legal field in Mindanao. It was the promulgation of PD 1083 that compelled the Board of Regents to pass the resolution on the creation of MSU College of Law in 1981.” He added
The College Secretary, Professor Isnira A. Baginda, Sh., L., delivered an inspirational remark on behalf of the Assistant Dean of General Santos City. She mentioned the importance of the virtual general assembly as an alternative way of continuous communication, assessment and evaluation of the performance of the law school.
“We should not only hope but continue to pray that this pandemic will be over. If not, then let us seek God’s help that we’ll be able to adjust to more challenges that will come our way.” She concluded.
The set of activities during the assembly was the virtual presentation of various student organisations from Marawi, Iligan and General Santos City, who introduced their respective roles and achievements in the college. To wit: Law Student Government (LSG), MSU Legal Aid Clinic, Law Gazette, Debate and Moot Society, The Nexus, Supreme Law Student Council, MSU Legal Aid Clinic-Iligan Extension, COMELEC and College of Law Students Association.
Atty. Joanah Alinog-Disocor, Assistant Dean of the Iligan Campus introduced an informative backgrounder on Sarimanok Virtual Law Clinic. “It is a virtual law program that designs and implements innovative projects to advance the legal literacy and access to justice of individuals and marginalised communities. It aims to provide people in the community a better understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities and empower them to make informed choices.”
She also discussed the salient features in the Revised Law Student Practice Rule. The Revised Rule is an amendment to the existing provisions of Rule 138-A of the Rules of Court. A salient feature of the Revised Rule is that a law student must now be certified to engage in the limited practice of law.
After the assembly, the Dean of all 3 Campuses, Atty. Mindalano ended the event with a closing remark. She expressed her profound gratitude to the organizers and attendees of the virtual event and encouraged the Mindanao State University College of Law to always soar to greater heights.
Arence is currently a news writer of The Nexus. Her passion for writing and journalism has appeared in several writing contests during National Schools Press Conferences. Her love for writing began when she read Paolo Coelho’s “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept,” and realized that words give life and meaning to this world. She is an incoming 4th year law student while working as a Service Quality Manager at Jollibee Foods Corporation – Tibanga Branch. She has been the Press and Publication Communications Chairperson of College of Business Administration and Accountancy(CBAA) of MSU-IIT. Also, she has been the Miss Economics 2016 of the CBAA, MSU-IIT.