IN TODAY’S age of information technology, the word “research” does not spell a big difference anymore nor mean long, hard work. No longer does re-search mean leafing through author, book, or subject card, or queuing to borrow and carry one voluminous hardback, and burning the midnight oil to understand the printed pages. Any researcher who has a PC, a laptop, or an electronic notebook and is just connected to the net can easily access information needed for his assignment at the click of a finger, and presto, the information he looks for just flash before his eyes.

But when one thinks of pursuing a degree in law, it would probably mean carrying a heavy of tomes, photocopying numerous pages for an assignment, and spending precious hours in the library. Not anymore, at these times, Virginia.

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Last weekend, I attended a presentation at Room 10 of the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod which provides an answer to the problem of research. T’was entitled “Electronic Media: Modern Trends in Legal Research”. The seminar, a requirement in the proponent’s pursuit of a Masters in Business Administration degree from the Graduate School of the said university, was well –attended by professionals from different sectors in the province and students from the USLS’ College of Law. Graduate School student, electronic media advocate and CD Asia’s Bacolod Office In-Charge Ma. Cornelia “Icoy” Javellana Gustilo, presented the company’s profile, which is also the same paper she is presenting for her academic requirements.

USLS College of Law Dean Atty. Raymundo Torres Pandan furthered the rationale of the day’s seminar by the presenting the day-to-day advantages and conveniences of using the computer technology and its other appurtenances. Keynote speaker, Atty. Ma. Lourdes “Lou” Dabao- Sitaca, an alumna of the Ateneo de Manila School of Law, a proud “Ilongga” and CD Asia’s Vice -President for Operations and Publishing, gave the audience the core of the seminar---a thorough presentation of her forte, legal research.

Atty. Sitaca delved on the different sources of legal research, and then demonstrated the ease and expediency of having the electronic media in the said field. And instead of having a stockpile of voluminous copies of references and cross –references in her library, Atty. Lou presented only one case containing DVD’s with more than 5,000 copies of updated, authorized materials related to law.

Really, the disc- filled container comes in handy and very becoming to both professionals and students of the 21st century. After satisfying a lot of interesting queries from the audience, Atty. Sitaca gave out prizes of on-line subscriptions and student versions of CD Asia’s products, all to the law coeds’ delight. The morning activity was capped by a closing remark by the very supportive Mr. George Zulueta, Icoy’s professor and adviser in the Graduate School. Mr. Zulueta quipped that with the use of electronic media, studying law would not be anymore. After giving the audience a detailed evaluation and a sumptuous snacks, Icoy Gustilo and CD Asia- Bacolod , at Rm.317, 3rd Floor, 2nd Floor, Virgin Sang Barangay Building, 6th Lacson St., Bacolod City (tel. no. 4355758), have a lot of promises to take.

And speaking of technology still ,the Commission on Elections has really done a good job of informing, educating and training , not only the BEI’s or the Board of Election Inspectors, but the rest of the electorate as well, like the common folks, professionals and students, of the rudiments of the first-ever, May 2010 elections. It is undeniable that one new thing would not be strange anymore when touched, handled, operated, and manned, properly. This is my personal conviction when the now famous by-word PCOS or Precinct Count Optical Scan machine was brought before my eyes in the Voters’ Education Forum conducted by the COMELEC of the City of Talisay at the Technological University of the Philippines Visayas last March 25,2010.

The institution, and the members of its academic community, were truly lucky to have one PCOS machine brought in their midst. And PCOS, up, close and personal, is not something which we need to be wary of. Properly manned, it could really ease up the counting of votes. And after a thorough lecture made by Atty. Ainee Taneza , Election Officer 111 ,on the clustering of the different poll precincts, the steps in voting, the proper filing-up of the new ballot form, the feeding of the ballot in the PCOS machine, reading the “response” of the machine, and more elucidations on questions during the open forum, I readily agree that we really have to know the rudiments of the forthcoming elections ,and share this knowledge with our family and friends. And for all the efforts they have made, COMELEC also deserves a big pat on the back.

Without a doubt, electronic media and modern machines make man’s life easier. But on hindsight, man should be duty-bound to handle these 21st century gizmos with proper wisdom, appropriate use and responsible exercise. In the meantime, let us allow ourselves a helping hand and let the electronic doohickeys run the little and big tasks for us. May our Holy Week be a time of deeper reflection, in sincere repentance, and in sharing the Greatest Love freely given by our Savior on the Cross. God bless.