Trailblazing: Sarimanok receives commendation from Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo

by | Sep 10, 2022

September 8, 2022 marked a historic and monumental day for the Mindanao State University as the Supreme Court bestowed the Historical Markers award to the Iligan and General Santos campuses for their participation and contributions to the successful bar examinations conducted last February 2022.

The 2020-2021 #bestbarever, spearheaded by Senior Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen was the first regionalized and digitized bar examination. Of the 8241 passers, 155 hailed from the MSU College of Law.

The Historical Marking, held at the Mindanao State University-Main Campus Convention Center, featured speeches from Senior Associate Justice Leonen and Hon. Justice Jappar Dimaampao. Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo delivered the closing remarks, citing the laudable efforts of the University, in collaboration with the Supreme Court, to bring the bar sites closer to the aspiring lawyers. These collaborative undertakings helped ease the strain on the takers during the long and grueling exam period.

In his speech, CJ Gesmundo further commends MSU for its pioneering efforts to bring justice closer to people through the Sarimanok Virtual Law Clinic.

“Let me take this opportunity to commend MSU for establishing the first virtual law clinic in the country. And without doubt, the most innovative clinical legal education program. Through its Sarimanok Virtual Law Clinic Website, MSU was able to deliver legal information and facilitate consultations on various legal concerns such as civil and human rights, labor and women and children’s rights,” says CJ Gesmundo of Sarimanok.

Sarimanok was established in 2021 under the leadership of Atty. Alizedney Ditucalan, former Dean of the College of Law and former Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, now the Chancellor of MSU-IIT, together with the Former Dean of the MSU College of Law, Atty. Annabelle B. Cañazares-Mindalano, and Assistant Dean for Clinical Legal Education Program, Atty. Joanah C. Alinog-Disocor. It was created in response to the increasing need for legal assistance to the vulnerable and disadvantaged sectors during the pandemic. The law clinic provides free legal services online, through its website and social media platforms, and offline, through its legal aid missions and legal literacy campaigns.

At present, Sarimanok continues to reach out to different parts of Mindanao, partnering with different organizations and local government units to cater to the needs of the marginalized and disadvantaged common folks in far-flung areas.

Legal assistance within reach, this is Sarimanok’s mission. To find more ways to respond to the call of justice in these ever-changing times, the Sarimanok Virtual Law Clinic endeavors to be innovators in the field — against all odds.

To quote CJ Gesmundo himself, “Indeed, trailblazing is no stranger to MSU.”

In attendance (from left to right): Honorable Associate Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez, Justice Jhosep Y. Lopez, Justice Jappar Dimaampao, Justice Samuel H. Gaerlan, Justice Mario V. Lopez, Senior Associate Justice M.V. F. Leonen, and Honorable Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.

Other distinguished guests include (from left to right): Former MSU IIT Chancellor Sukarno Tanggol, Chancellor Atty. Alizedney Ditucalan of MSU-IIT, MSU College of Law Dean Atty. Norhabib Barodi, MSU College of Law Assistant Dean Atty. Norsary Mamad, Former MSU College of Law Dean Atty. Annabelle Cañazares-Mindalano, and Former MSU College of Law- Iligan Extension Assistant Dean Joanah C. Alinog-Disocor.

MSU Gensan Chancellor Usman Aragasi [not in photo] was also in attendance.

Written by Celine Bautista, Editor-in-Chief