Commentary

Whatever you do reflects upon the group

One of the reasons I maintain my ethics as a lawyer despite the many chances of committing unethical acts is my recognition that any unethical, immoral and/or illegal I do would reflect upon society’s view of us lawyers.

In the same manner, any unethical, immoral and/or unethical act by any lawyer would reflect upon me as a member of the Philippine bar, whether I would like it or not.

I think it is fruitful to recognize that once you join, whether voluntarily or not, a certain class or group of people, whatever you do reflects upon that class, and whatever is done by any member of that class reflects upon you. You are then forced to be responsible for your actions, and to be responsible for the actions of your peers. Necessarily, you guard yourself against infractions of the rules. Necessarily, you support the exclusion from the class (disbarment in case of lawyers) of those who do nothing but reflect badly upon the group. You don’t excuse their conduct; you don’t claim that their acts are not reflective of the group. Because indeed, while they are still members of the group, their acts reflect on the group. If you are truly loyal to the group and to yourself, you apologize for their mistakes, assure society that their ilk would be removed from the group, and do something within your station to indeed remove members like them from the group. Simply claiming that their acts do not reflect upon the group is hollow, self-serving, and does not at all assure society that the acts would not be repeated.

This does not mean however that when it is claimed that two lawyers, married but not to each other, were caught in sexual congress, I was also there.

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