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Gil M.

Camaymayan

Women and Children

Court Visit Paper


(RTC Branch 209 Mandaluyong City)

1. What are your observations on the court environment?


Initially we had a hard time looking for RTC Branch 209 in
Mandaluyong City. There seems to be a lack of appropriate directional
information available in the vicinity in order for individuals who are
unfamiliar with the place. RTC Branch 209 was located on an old
building opposite the Mandaluyong City Hall which was actually its
contrast for the City Hall was newly built and looks fairly respectable as
compared to the former.
Inside the Court room the place was a mess and would probably
need renovation. There were old type writers laying around the court
room, stacks of papers serving as dividers and insufficient sitting for
people who are and might be interested on the trial that could and will
transpire during the day. But even with such situation of the court it
remained to be clean and respectable. Beside you dont see anyone
complaining about anything which gives me the impression that this
kind of environment as per the court situation would be of something
considered to be common in the courts in the Philippines. The situation
of the Mandaluyong court room is a far cry from the court rooms you
see on movies and in the television where everything was furnished
quite nicely and elegantly.
2. What are your observations of the judge, his/her demeanor,
court management, including the case calendared for the day,
interaction with the lawyers?
Judge Quisumbing-Ignacio was the presiding judge of RTC Branch
209 in Mandaluyong City. My initial impression of her was that she is a
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woman in control, someone who devote most of her time to her craft
and career advancement. She was all too serious upon entering the
court room but upon further staying, I was able to sense that there was
a lighter side of her especially on times wherein she gave a smirk smile
on certain instances during the trial. All in all to sum it up Judge
Quisumbing-Ignacio is a strong woman who portrays a person of justice
and integrity.
Initially court management was a bit unorganized, firstly the
hearing already started late and most of the parties in the cases lined
up on that day did also not came in not on time from which it seems to
be something that would be expected since the presiding judge was
not strict in regards to punctuality of the parties and their respective
counsels. There was a roll call done by the secretary every now and
then but seems like no one was listening and only a few individuals
have approached the secretary in order to acknowledge their presence
in the court room. Before the presiding judge entered the court room,
the ambience and feel of the place was kinda social. You can see
people interacting (by the parties and counsel) against one other;
there were social talks, jokes and a small amount of laughter going
around which emulates a light mood within the court room but all of
which has change when the presiding judge has entered the court
room and her presence was acknowledge by the people inside the
room. The light mood initially became quite adversarial, especially
when testimonials of witnesses and cross examination of which were
conducted.
3. What are your observations on the lawyers and litigants?
Lawyers and litigants that were within the court room during that
day were a mixed of different breed. You have those who are social and
does small talks to every person they know within the room, you also
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have the entertainer type that seems to be the life of the conversation
by throwing out small talks, jokes and laughter that brings about a
lighter mood in the court room, there are also those who seems to be
pretty determined during that day and of course there are also those
who seems to not really care at all and mind their own business by
pressing something on their phones. But as I mentioned above that all
of which has change soon after the presiding judge has entered the
room, everyone became a bit serious and attentive all of a sudden
which reflects professionalism on the part of the lawyer and being
respectful on the part of the litigants.
4. What did you learn from your court visit that you could apply
when you become a lawyer?
Being a lawyer is for a noble cause and that professionalism
should always be conducted in and out of the court room. Becoming a
lawyer is not only to serve as a representative of a party but more on
advocating his cause and promoting his interest by either defending
his right or availing of relief that would be of benefit to the him.
Championing a persons cause is a noble task for it not only gives hope
and a sense of security to a person but it also gives them a new
perspective in life that there are people who would try to defend his
cause and help him get through on this part of his life. This holds true
either if you are on the side of the claimant or defendant. A lawyers
role is not to juice money out of his client but to afford and give them
hope that their cause shall be defended, their rights shall be respected
and due justice shall be provided unto them. Just like the case we
witness during the visit wherein a man was requesting the court to
have his marriage to his wife be revoked. The lawyer of the man is
trying to defend his client right to have a better, peaceful and a happy
life together with his children; and his cause that his wife was not fit to
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stay in the marriage. And of course the lawyer of the wife would try to
defend the right of the wife for support and custody of the children and
to defend the cause of the wife that the person incapacitated to
continue with the marriage was the husband and not her. Lawyers are
like knights and the client as the King; and as lawyers we do as much
as we can to defend and advocate the right of the King and give the
King what is duly to him.
Professionalism as a lawyer should be practice not only in the
court room but also outside of it.

As lawyers we should give due

respect to everyone not only against the opposing party and his
counsel but also to the judge, court officials and in general to
everyone. The adversarial atmosphere in the court room should not be
brought outside of it. Everyone should be able to interact and
communicate with anyone without hostility. A lawyer should not take
actions of the opposing party or counsel personally during the trial but
rather think of it as the right of the opposing party afforded to him by
law. Humility should always be observed by a lawyer for he is not
above anyone else but the same with anyone else.
5. What did you learn from your court visit that you would never
do when you become lawyer?
The thing that I learned from this court visit that I would never do
in practice if ever comes that day that I would become a lawyer is that
I would treat every person in the court room the utmost respect a
person should be afforded with. There was this lawyer by the
complainant

who

was

cross-examining

the

expert

witness.

My

impression against the lawyer upon doing the cross examination and
even during his direct examination of the complainant on the witness
stand is that he was to more of a bully rather than an advocate of the
right of the complainant. I dont know if it was a form of strategy on his
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part or if it was something common to him but his line of questioning,


gestures and reaction during his examination was disrespectful and
was somehow discrediting the person on the witness stand. I my own
opinion he was not only disrespectful to the expert witness and the
opposing partys witness but also to his own client. His line of
questioning and approach on discrediting the expert witness has
caused delay in the proceeding of the case for a continuance was
requested due to so called unawareness of the expert witness on her
own report. I think most of the lawyers in our country lack a sense of
humility especially when dealing with people. Not sure if the status or
their profession has gone to their head or that it is just an approach
they took on things but one thing is for sure that respect and
professionalism should always be observe especially by a lawyer who
is seen by society as a person of integrity and stature.