For most students, the summer vacation is the best, if not the only, time to relax. It’s the time for movie marathons or beach excursions or visits to relatives in faraway provinces, as long as it takes them away from the rigors of academic work.
Not so for Inquies Pro Lege (IPL) participants.
IPL was initially a month-long summer course on jurisprudence, the laws (including some Bar subjects) and leadership designed for law students and enthusiasts. IPL participants traded long hours on the couch for animated discussions and stimulating lectures on various issues surrounding the practice of law. Latin for “restlessness for law,” Inquies Pro Lege aimed to create a memorable experience that unifies one’s passion for the practice of law and one’s passion for truth, goodness, and beauty. The course adhered to the principle that long-term solutions to our country’s problems have to be well thought out and firmly grounded on respect for virtue and the natural law.
Last year (on its second year) IPL convened 16 participants from various law schools, including those in the University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines, and Ateneo de Manila University.  The course ran from July 6 to 18 – two weeks of intense lectures and workshops, get-togethers, and a field trip. Among the lecturers were Atty. Diosdado Marasigan of EMSAVVIL, Dr. Paul Dumol of UA&P, Atty. Joren Sereno and Fr. Jimmy Achacoso, JCD, to name a few. On the 15th of August, the participants received their certificates in a simple ceremony at Banahaw Cultural Center in Quezon City. It was attended by families and friends of the graduates.
Of course the best was saved for last. Human rights advocate and former COMELEC Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento graced the graduation ceremony, urging IPL participants to become virtuous practitioners of law. Quoting St Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, he challenged his young audience to “wipe out the slimy and filthy mark left by the impure sowers of hatred and light up all the ways of the earth with the fire of Christ.”
Renowned economist Dr. Bernardo Villegas also delivered an inspirational message. Noting that he and Sarmiento were among the drafters of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Villegas emphasized how professional excellence can produce an immense impact on the country’s future. He also reminded participants that in upholding truth and respect for human dignity, disagreements with other people would be inevitable. But he said it could be overcome by charity and the courage to hold on to universal principles despite contrary circumstances.
Now on its third year, the course will lean more extensively on crucial topics on BAR subjects. Nevertheless, other law topics, cultural and philosophical subjects are still included for a balanced development and efficient mid-year break learning.
Inquies Pro Lege is under the Universitas Center for Leadership and Mentoring program of Charis Foundation.