THE Davao Lady Lawyers Association or Dallas celebrated its 45th Foundation anniversary with a bolder, brighter and more beautiful theme last September 9 at the Davao Convention Center.
The event gave tribute to its old and new members.
Stars of the Night
The celebration had a festive ambiance with the presence of judges and lawyers from court rooms, government administrative bodies and private sectors who donned in their elegant gowns and dresses to match this year’s motif.
Dedicated, passionate, beautiful - these words may fit, but would not be enough to describe this year’s awardees who have proven, once again, that they deserve the honor.
Judge Leonor Sumcad, who astonishingly fit at 92, received the first award for being the most senior lady lawyer member. Dallas founder, former Judge Virginia Hofileña-Europa was also honored and said she hopes this celebration would remind the lady lawyers of their role in serving the nation.
Immediate Past President Alma Naidas–Enriquez also received an award for her past contributions to Dallas.
During the event, the lady lawyers showcased their God-given talents and wowed the audience with their Broadway-like choreography, led by lawyer Devona Jumamil.
The group also welcomed the awardees as they walked on the red carpet and received their awards given by Judge Gemma Betonio, lawyer Jennifer Melendez, lawyer Maria Lourdes Lanzona-Estrellado, lawyer Dimpna Bermejo Dulay, lawyer Suzette Tan, lawyer Fairy Faith Rabago-Agustin, lawyer Rovyne Jumao-as, lawyer Mylene Baura, lawyer Angela Librado-Trinidad, and lawyer Irene Lavares-Dango.
The program started with a welcome address by its Board member, lawyer Jocelyn Arro-Valencia. It was followed by a valedictory message by past president - lawyer Alma Naidas-Enriquez. Acceptance of Dallas President, lawyer Jennifer Melendez who highlighted this year's exciting programs followed suit.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio was the keynote speaker during the program. She was introduced by past president Judge Loida Posadas-Kahulugan.
A lady justice painting which epitomized the purpose and role of Dallas in Davao was handed to Duterte-Carpio. The painting symbolizes “a justice that is fairest, but fiercest when challenged by the enemies."
The program was emceed by lawyer Marie Dinah Tolentino-Fuentes who made the evening more fun.
Lawyer Maria Lourdes Lanzona-Estrellado announced the Dallas committees.
The committees and their heads are as follows: Committee on Legal Aid and Incidental Matters (Claim) - lawyer Karen Valen De Leon-Padernal and lawyer Joanna Kaye Remolar, Committee on Advocacy (COA) - lawyer Fairy Faith Rabago-Agustin and Lawyer Suzette Tan-Atmosfera, Committee on Resource and Management (Cram) - lawyer Giselle Talion and Lawyer Jocelyn Arro-Valencia.
Committee on Training, Information & Education (TIE) - lawyer Jennife DP Dumalag-Borong and lawyer Jennifer Melendez, and Committee on Membership, Fellowship and Teambuilding Activities (Comfat) - lawyer Maria Lourdes Lanzona-Estrellado and Lawyer Dimpna Bermejo-Dulay.
Dallas also made a painting exhibit with the theme “EJK”- extra judicial craft, featuring the paintings of Hofileña-Europa, Judge Loida Posadas-Kahulugan, Judge Norma Calatrava, Fiscal Rizza Mae Sam, Fiscal Ritzel Rabor-Polinar, lawyer Dimpna Bermejo-Dulay, lawyer Percy Abian-Fune and lawyer Leilanie Yangyang-Espejo.
Most members of the Dallas EJK are also members of the Bench and Bar Toastmasters Club headed by its president, lawyer Percy Abian-Fune.
During the program, the group also welcomed the new members of Dallas who were inducted by former Dallas President Judge Marivic Trabajo Daray. They are lawyer Malene Jade Brion, lawyer Ruby Ann Calizo, Judge Cresenvciana Cruz, lawyer Rizaida Diesto, lawyer Janis Louis Esparcia, lawyer Aiza Fahad, lawyer Kyrie Dea Maia Genolos, lawyer Camille Joy Gestuveo, Judge Edilu Hayag, lawyer Jedyl Jamaica-Uno, lawyer Marnelli Jamison, lawyer Jevonah Jumamil, lawyer Marissa Marasigan-Torentera, lawyer Sigrid Kim Mier, Judge Dorothy Montejo-Gonzaga, lawyer Fely Morata, lawyer Victoria Flor Ogatis, lawyer Kristine Jane Pague, lawyer Joanne Paguidopon, lawyer Amelou Pelonio, lawyer Maria Ilsea Salvador, lawyer Luchie Sasing, lawyer Rothea Simon, lawyer RaiaAngelie Tumanda, lawyer Sittie Fahane Uy, lawyer Alnessa Thea Uy, and lawyer Luchie Sasing.
This year's new set of officers who took oath before Judge Eloisa Maglana are: lawyer Jennifer Melendez - president, lawyer Maria Lourdes Lanzona-Estrellado - vice president, lawyer Fairy Faith Rabago-Agustin - secretary, lawyer Karen Valen De Leon-Padernal - treasurer, lawyer Dimpna Bermejo-Dulay - PRO, lawyer Suzette Tan-Atmosfera - auditor, lawyer Giselle Talion, lawyer Jocelyn Arro-Valencia, lawyer Jennifer DP Dumalag-Borong, lawyer Joanna Kaye Remolar - directors, and lawyer Alma Naidas-Enriquez as ex-officio board member.
Dallas execom's aims and objectives are: To foster closer relationship among the lady lawyers in Davao City, Davao Oriental, Daval del Norte and Davao Occidental; to uphold and maintain the dignity and nobility of the profession of law, especially by a strict adherence to and compliance with the Lawyer's Oath and the Canons of Professional Ethics; and to enhance the professional growth of the members by conducting seminars, trainings and team buildings.
Hofileña-Europa said Dallas originated from the idealism and eagerness of two very young lady lawyers, herself and Julieta Claudio who had just passed the bar in 1971. They approached the senior lady lawyers and convinced them to form an organization for lady lawyers. Fortunately, they were able to gather some 24 lady lawyers who became the charter members.
Davao Lady Lawyers Association or Dallas was chosen as the group's name through a contest initiated by Judge Leonor Sumcad. Former Development Bank of the Philippines Branch lawyer Lualhati Hilario was installed as the Charter president. The inducting officer and Guest of Honor during the Charter Presentation held at the Davao Insular Hotel was Lawyer Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores, who was also the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro City.
Eventually, membership in the Dallas was opened to the lady lawyers in Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental. Now, it included Davao Occidental. The roster of members included judges, fiscals, directors of government agencies as well as practicing lawyers.
One of the projects that make Dallas popular was the radio program at dxDC. The late Councilor Freddie Vergara, who had a big following, anchored the DALLAS HOUR every Sunday at 10 a.m. The members led by Judge Mila Nartatez took turns in answering questions from the general public. Most of the questions centered on the rights of women and children.
The association also put up a Free Legal Aid Clinic. Under the tutelages of its many presidents and officers, Dallas carved a niche in Davao's history as a champion for the rights of women and children. Dallas also actively participates in the ABS-CBN radio program, “TRUE CASE”, every Friday from 8 to 10 p.m. (Lawyer Dimp Dulay)