On September 17, 2021, the Legal Education Board issued Memorandum Circular No. 86, enjoining legal education institutions to observe the National Law Week and Law Day. To commemorate, MSU College of Law Iligan Extension organized several activities from September 20-26.
The College commenced it with a Virtual General Assembly joined by around 300 students on Zoom. Dean Annabelle Cañazares-Mindalano reiterated the policies written in the student’s handbook. She reminded students of the instruction and learning platforms, schedule of classes, student load, prerequisite rules, changing, transfer, and adding of subjects, and the Code of Conduct and Discipline, to name a few. More so, different organizations such as the Supreme Law Student Council (SLSC), Debate and Moot Society (DMS), Iligan Extension Legal Aid Clinic (IELAC), COMELEC, and The Nexus were made known. Heads of each group presented their accomplishments in the previous semesters and laid down their plans for the academic year 2021-2022, ending their presentations with the introduction of officers and call for applications.
The following week, professorial lecturers of the college convened for a faculty meeting and discussed the new learning management system and other matters. Competitions for essay writing, editorial cartooning, and TikTok video creation were likewise held on the same day which highlighted students’ literary prowess and inclination to digital creation. As such, Dean Mindalano heeded the call for suspension of classes for three days to ensure maximum participation and engagement, with the reminder, however, to refrain from gathering together. Despite the limitations and restrictions, students were still able to actively take part in these events and cheer online for their representatives.
Simultaneous events were also held on a Sunday. The Sarimanok Virtual Law Clinic, in coordination with the Iligan Youth Mental Health Advocates, hosted a live webinar on how to manage mental health during the pandemic with the theme, “New Normal and Ways Forward”.
On a separate live stream, other students watched the Dean’s Cup, an inter-campus debate tournament hosted by the Debate and Moot Society and participated by law student-debaters from the Iligan, Gensan, and Marawi campuses. They argued on three motions while they were being judged on a point-system basis by law professors who were debaters, too, back then.
In the afternoon, students virtually attended the legal forum on the role and rule of Law in times of the pandemic. One of the keynote speakers was Hon. Japar B Dimaampao, the newly-appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. In his speech, he reminded students to remain humble while they are in the pursuit of becoming a lawyer. “The more we humble ourselves, the less we trip and fall”, he shared.
Atty. Burt M. Estrada, the National President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and Atty. Anna Marie Melanie B. Trinidad, Chairperson/Commissioner of the Legal Education Board also graced the event. They talked about the direction of their respective organizations for this year and its implications for the study and practice of law. Subsequently, the forum was opened to students for reactions and queries.
Finally, the week-long celebration culminated with a Closing Ceremony. The judges for each event were presented, and in between, the TikTok entries of the different year levels were shown. After which, winners of the different competitions, who will be receiving monetary prizes, were announced. Assistant Dean Joanah Alinog-Disocor and SLSC President Fritz Amparado, who led the groundwork committee, ended with a speech, thanking everyone who took part and made all the events possible despite their tight schedules.