Lex Talionis Fraternitas

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Lex Talionis Fraternitas, Inc.
Lex Talionis.jpg
Founded September 29, 1969
San Beda College of Law,
Manila, Philippines
Type Fraternity
Scope Legal profession
Chartered August 11, 1983
Chapters 2

Lex Talionis Fraternitas, Inc. Sodalitas Ducum Futurorum is an exclusive fraternal organization of Filipino jurists, legal practitioners and law students founded on September 29, 1969 at the San Beda College of Law. A chapter in the Ateneo de Davao University School of Law was established in 1974. In 1983, the Securities and Exchange Commission granted the incorporation of the fraternity.

Recruitment is by invitation only and exclusive to law students enrolled either at the San Beda College of Law or the Ateneo de Davao College of Law.

The Principle of Lex Talionis[edit]

Lex Talionis is Latin for Law of Retaliation. This concept is derived from the Mosaic law "an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth," which is a variation of the original concept promulgated under the Code of Hammurabi. The secondary name, Sodalitas Ducum Futurorum is Latin for Solidarity of Future Leaders.

The Grand Judex and the Troika[edit]

Lex Talionis was founded in the San Beda College of Law in 1969.

The head of the fraternity is called the Grand Judex. He is selected in secret by all the members present in the election called for such purpose. The nominee can only come from the San Beda chapter.

Upon its establishment in 1969, the founders agreed that there would be no single Grand Judex during the formative year of the fraternity. Since there was no single Grand Judex, the first batch was headed by three co-equal Grand Judexes collectively called "the Troika." The Troika was composed of Miguel Soriano, Rizal Guerrero, and Jose Mendoza. Mendoza currently sits as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

Later on, Francisco Acosta,[1] future Justice of the Court of Appeals and 2008 Bar examiner in Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, was elected as the first Grand Judex.

The Grand Judex is assisted by a Vice Grand Judex, a Judex of Initiation, a Judex of War, a Judex for Academic Operations, an Exchequer, and a Keeper of the Scroll. A senior advisory body, the Council of Grand Judexes, likewise takes an active part in the affairs of the fraternity and acts as the corporate Board of Directors. The Council is composed of past Grand Judexes, and is headed by a Chairman, who acts as the main adviser to the current Grand Judex. The current Chairman is Justice Francisco Acosta.

List of Grand Judexes[edit]

  • Miguel Soriano (Troika)
  • Rizal Guerrero (Troika)
  • Jose Catral Mendoza (Troika)
  • Francisco Acosta
  • Antonio Eugenio Jr.
  • Glenn Del Rosario
  • Rogelio San Luis
  • Jun de Dios
  • Alfredo Lim
  • Gerardo Palanca
  • Jose Malabanan
  • Benjamin Delos Santos
  • Gregory Ong
  • Felipe Dumpit
  • Tomas Lahom III
  • Eric Galo Acuña
  • Honorio 'Eric' Sison
  • Art Ravil
  • Joselito Reyes
  • Adnan Alonto
  • Gallant Soriano
  • Allen Anigan
  • Joel Ferrer
  • Dennis Funa
  • Antonio Kho, Jr.
  • Hubert Bustos
  • Dennis Macatangay
  • Emil Aquino
  • Roger Madamba
  • Reynante Orceo
  • Eugene Mendoza
  • Azil Aquino
  • Caesar Catral
  • Voltaire dela Cruz
  • Joseph Joel Castillo
  • Edwin Paredes
  • Giovanne Lim
  • Rey Bulay
  • George Ortha II
  • Andrew Aguirre
  • Stephen Bongolan
  • Alex Ragonjan
  • Ismael Jose
  • Jhoriel Castillo
  • John Eivor Orro
  • John Paul Ganalon
  • Eller Roel Daclan
  • Delbert Galima
  • Meljohn Verzosa
  • John Carlo Gil Sadian
  • Niño Martin Cruz
  • Jonas Nieves
  • Eric Jiro Acuña III
  • Mario Jayson Rabara

The Triumvirate and the Ateneo Chapter[edit]

In 1974, three members who hailed from the southern Philippines proposed to plant the seeds of Lex Talionis in the Jesuit Ateneo de Davao University School of Law. With the blessings the Grand Judex, they established a chapter in the Ateneo. These three members, Rodrigo Duterte, Joel Babista, and Alberto Sipaco Jr., would later be known as "the Triumvirate."

Duterte would later on serve as a long-time Mayor of Davao City and 16th President of the Philippines, while Babista became a distinguished entrepreneur in the south. Sipaco, on the other hand, served as Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights in Region XI.

Bar Topnotchers[edit]

For a young fraternity, Lex Talionis has already produced a considerable number of topnotchers in the annual Philippine Bar Examinations. The first Talion Bar topnotcher was Alberto Serrano (17th Place, 1971); followed the following year by George Eduvala (3rd Place, 1972) and Felito Ramirez (7th Place, 1972).

The list grew longer as years passed by: Felicisimo Sagun (2nd Place, 1974); Spyros Osorio (9th Place, 1978); John Agbayani (18th Place, 1978); Mario Ypon Cavada (17th Place, 1979); Willard Riano (20th Place, 1981); Timoteo Aquino (8th Place, 1988); Rene Tria (9th Place, 1988); Florencio Mamauag (16th Place, 1988); Samuel Dacayo (18th Place, 1989); Antonio Kho (10th Place, 1990); Albert Villaseca (11th Place, 1991); Emil Aquino (16th Place, 1992); Xerxes Cortel (16th Place, 1995); Dante Bravo (10th Place, 2001); and George Ortha II (9th Place, 2002)

The Camaligan Incident[edit]

The fraternity went into controversy and criticism when neophyte Raul Camaligan died of physical injuries after his initiation rites on September 8, 1991. Eight members were indicted for Homicide before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Upon rearraignment, they withdrew their earlier plea of not guilty and pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide. The Grand Judex at that time, Roger Madamba, while not present during Camaligan's initiation, admitted to the offense. They were convicted but later on applied for and were granted probation.

In the landmark cases of In Re: Argosino (270 SCRA 26),[2] In Re: Cuevas (285 SCRA 59)[3] and In Re: Tuliao (B.M. No. 832)[4] has allowed the members involved in the unfortunate incident to take the Bar Examinations, take the Lawyer's Oath, and engage in the practice of law. In granting these petitions, the Court took judicial notice of "the general tendency of youth to be rash, temerarious and uncalculating."

The Court further ruled that "[their] discharge from probation without any infraction of the attendant conditions therein and the various certifications attesting to [their] good moral character and civic consciousness show that [they have] sufficiently proven that [they are] now morally fit to be admitted to the Bar and to take the lawyer’s oath. In allowing [them] to take the lawyer’s oath, the Court recognizes that [they are] not inherently of bad moral fiber. [They have] also taken decisive steps to atone for the unfortunate death of Raul Camaligan."

However, in allowing them to enter the legal profession, the Court gave them a stern reminder that "the lawyer’s oath is not a mere formality for entering the noble profession of the law. [They are] exhorted to conduct [themselves] beyond reproach at all times and to live in accordance with the lawyer’s oath and to abide by the Code of Professional Responsibility. As new lawyer[s], [they are] advised to be [men] for others, ready and willing to render legal and other services to the less fortunate among our people."

Notable members[edit]

Active Chapters[edit]