The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Zamboanga del Norte Chapter held an induction of its newly elected officers and 23 newly admitted members, who recently passed the 2016 bar examination, on June 9, 2017 at D’Hotel Hotel & Suites, Dipolog City.

The memorable event with the theme “Raising the Bar of Excellence Higher” was graced by no less than the IBP National President, Atty. Rosario Setias-Reyes, the Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker; Western Mindanao Region Governor, Atty. Charles Rasonable; and more than 100 lawyers, including distinguished judges, prosecutors, and government officials in Zamboanga del Norte.

Executive Judge Rogelio Laquihon administered the oath of the chapter officers for the term 2017-2019, namely: Attorneys Kenneth Lim, president; Uldarico Mejorada II, vice-president; January Faith Santiago, secretary; Marian Lucille Zulueta, treasurer; Nizza Lesterio, auditor; and Diana Charlette Concha, public relations officer; Helen Acoymo-Angeles, Alfred Casipong, and Olive Corrine Olvis, directors.

Atty. Lim delivered his acceptance speech on behalf of the newly inducted officers. He presented their proposed activities and those they have done since the start of their term, such as the opening of its legal aid clinic, the launching of the chapter’s official website, the hosting of radio show “Kini ang Balaod”, to name a few.

The new bar passers who took their oath as members before Judge Laquihon are: Attorneys Gil Muncada, Lunrey Bagor, Zyldjyh Portuguez, Aristotle Ong, Winston Napigquit, Poe Bagarinao, Jr., Iven Pacatang, Raffy Bulado, Manuel Zosimo Ozoa, Daryl Piñero, Erwin Cabilin, Rainier Rhett Concha, Jeraldine Santiago, Edelle Beth Ybañez, Irene Kaye Ualat, Carrie Nizva Refugio, Haifah Sapihi-Layam, Rolando Tesoro, Jr., and Elro Mar Tabiliran.

Aristotle Ong of Andres Bonifacio College, Rainier Rhett Concha of DMC College Foundation, and Gil Muncada of Jose Rizal Memorial State University,gave their testimonials on their experiences in taking and passing the bar examination. Alanna Gayle Ashley Khio and Athalia Liong, the second and third placers of the 2016 bar examination, hadpre-recorded their video testimonials.

The chapter offered a moment of silence to pay tribute to the fallen brothers in the profession. They recognized the members who were recently appointed and elected to government posts.

In her keynote speech, Atty. Setias-Reyes shared the accomplishments of the 22nd Board of Governors. Under her presidency, the Supreme Court released the subsidies for the IBP legal aid program after her team had worked hard to completely wipe out the unliquidated subsidies of prior years.

As a mother and as IBP First Lady President, Atty. Setias-Reyes reminded lawyers to “never give up in doing good…even if others are not. To go on and not be discouraged. To not give up on [their] dreams. To move on and to keep the faith.”

The IBP is the official mandatory organization of all Philippine lawyers whose names appear in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court. It has local chapters in all provinces and major cities nationwide.