Press Release
February 15, 2013


Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the responsibility of all law practitioners to provide legal services to the poor in the country during his speech at the groundbreaking of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines' (IBP) new tower in Ortigas, Pasig City.

Together with Angara and special guest Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, officials from the IBP and representatives of the Ortigas family signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) explaining the build-operate-transfer deal between OCLP and the IBP. Through this joint endeavor by the IBP and Ortigas and Co. Ltd. Partnership (OCLP), the proposed 22-storey IBP Tower is expected to be built within the next two years.

Angara recalled that as Executive Vice President of the IBP in 1977, he had envisioned a home for the organization, and that dream was realized through the generosity of the Ortigas family and many others.

"Lindy Locsin designed the building without charging a single cent. Atty. Lolong Lazaro persuaded Jun Cruz to allow the GSIS to loan the money for construction and Don Paquito Ortigas gave us two prime lots of 3,600 square meters. We can say that this building we have now was truly a gift of love," said the former IBP president.

According to Angara, at the beginning of the IBP, the bar through Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion raised funds for legal aid. Back then lawyers sacrificed their own time and offered their services for free to Filipinos who could not afford their own attorneys. That changed when in 1980 the government gave them the first subsidy for legal aid, which continues to this day.

"All of us at the bar must remain conscious above all of our public responsibility. We have to fulfill our duty to provide legal assistance to the needy of this country," he said.

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