Ex-Sorsogon judge chosen as IBP Bicol governor-elect

A retired RTC judge of Sorsogon who was one of the winners in the 2008 Judicial Excellence Awards has been elected as the governor-elect for Bicol of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for 2011-2013.

Atty. Leonor Gerona-Romeo, formerly of RTC Branch 54 in Gubat, Sorsogon and current president of IBP Sorsogon chapter, won without opposition during the regional elections conducted last Saturday, May 7, at the Hall of Justice in Virac, with incumbent IBP Bicol Governor Atty. Jose Cabrera presiding. Virac RTC Executive Judge Genie G. Gapas-Agbada was present as the designated Supreme Court observer. Also present was Virac MTC Judge Lorna Santiago-Ubalde.

Elected along with her were fellow Sorsogueño Atty. Carla Honora Borromeo, a former assistant city prosecutor of Makati City who is a third-dan aikido blackbelt, as deputy governor; IBP Camarines Norte president Atty. Elaine Gay Belen, as secretary; and, IBP Camarines Sur chapter vice president Atty. Ma. Luzy Torres, as treasurer.

Among the six IBP House of Delegates who joined the voting for governor were Albay chapter president Atty. Vicente del Rosario, Catanduanes chapter president Atty. Gregorio Sarmiento, Jr., and Masbate chapter president Atty. Rosalito Apoya. The others were Atty. Gerona-Romeo, Atty. Belen, and Atty. Torres. The president of Camarines Sur chapter, Atty. Antonio Rivero, failed to make it due to the cancellation of ferry trips to the island due to the approaching storm.

The governor-elect, who earned a special award for best decision in a criminal case during the 2008 Judicial Excellence Awards given by the High Court, belongs to a family of lawyers and jurists. After a sterling career in public service and private practice, she entered the judiciary in 1994, winning acclaims for straightforward and concise writing in her ponencias.

Responding to Gov. Cabrera’s call for unity among Bicol lawyers, Atty. Gerona-Romeo said she will continue to unify the ranks of Bicol IBP with the help of the chapter presidents and their members.

In his remarks, Atty. Cabrera said he tried to do his best to fulfill commitments at the regional and national level, with the proposals of Bicol lawyers now the blueprint of IBP national officers.

He disclosed that under the present rotation, the third since 1973, it will be the turn of Camarines Sur IBP to have its president elected as Bicol governor, followed by Albay, Masbate, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes and then Sorsogon. This way, he said, the entire regional association is spared from divisive elections, with the fight confined to the chapter at the top of the rotation.

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