IN A world filled with legal minds, Atty. Jacinto "Jack" D. Jimenez stands out as a paragon of excellence, wisdom,= and compassion. Jack's legacy extends far beyond the confines of a classroom or a courtroom.
Dean Nilo Divina of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Law School aptly remembers Jack as not just an outstanding law professor but also as a formidable legal scholar who meticulously curated legal decisions in constitutional law. Jack's dedication to his craft was unparalleled, and his influence on aspiring lawyers was immeasurable.
The Ateneo Law Journal, in an online tribute, expressed its deepest gratitude for Jack's leadership and guidance for nearly 50 years. He served as the Senior Editor and later as Faculty Adviser, leaving an indelible mark on the publication.
One Ateneo classmate, Jojo Buñag, fondly referred to Jack as a "walking SCRA (Supreme Court Report Annotated) Encyclopedia." This moniker is a testament to Jack's encyclopedic knowledge of the law and his unwavering dedication to the legal profession. Jojo, who himself was a bar topnotcher alongside Jack in the 1968 exams and who later became BIR Commissioner, also credits Jack with providing a critical legal opinion that was later adopted by the Appellate Court. Jack's contributions to the legal field went beyond the classroom and the courtroom; they extended to shaping legal precedents.
Gary Mendoza,a former city prosecutor of Lipa, remembers Jack as a compassionate lawyer who represented pro-bono clients, even in out-of-town cases, without charging a single centavo. Jack's commitment to justice and his willingness to extend a helping hand to those in need showcased his deep-rooted values as a legal practitioner.
He was a multifaceted individual, and stories about his remarkable abilities continue to resonate. One such anecdote, shared by Jun Salvador, a prominent tax practitioner, sheds light on Jack's extraordinary capacity for multitasking and unflappable character.
Jun Salvador found himself driving to work one day, navigating the bustling streets of EDSA. As he glanced over to the adjacent lane, he was surprised to see Jack's car driving alongside his own. What caught Jun's attention was not just the coincidence of their commute but the sight of Jack seemingly engrossed in a copy of the Manila Times while maneuvering through the chaotic traffic.
Jun couldn't help but express his concern. He signaled Jack to cease this potentially perilous distraction. To Jun's surprise, instead of reacting defensively, Jack responded with a friendly wave and an infectious smile, all while expertly keeping his vehicle on course.
Atty. Lila Quirino, of the same college generation but who twenty years later became Jack’s law student at the Ateneo Law School, humorously noted that she became Jack's "pet student" because she was the only one in their class who could understand and laugh at Jack’s dated jokes.
I had the privilege of knowing Jack as a college colleague both in Loyola and in Padre Faura . In one memorable political science project, Jack's dedication and willingness to go the extra mile shone brightly. He virtually carried the entire workload, with his two team members (which included me and Jess Garcia, who in later years became Secretary of Transportation) simply concurring with his comprehensive contribution. Despite our limited involvement, all three of us received an "A" from our political science professor for this excellent “group effort”.
As we remember Atty. Jacinto "Jack" D. Jimenez, it is clear that he was more than just a legal luminary. He was a friend, a mentor, and an embodiment of the values that the legal profession holds dear—dedication, compassion, and a relentless pursuit of justice. Jack's influence will continue to shape the lives of those fortunate enough to have crossed his path, and his legacy will forever illuminate the path of aspiring legal minds.