[Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile is shown in this photo as he delivered a speech before the UP Law graduates of 2012. Senator Enrile in his speech talked about the eminent Prof. Gaudencio Garcia, whom Sen. Enrile referred to as his drill-master in Political Law.]
Professors at the U.P. College of Law are considered the cream of the crop among the community of legal professionals. Some professors are considered weird, some are even surreal.
Tales of yesteryears about terror U.P. Law professors would bring about the name of a supposed fear-inspiring and hectoring professor by the name of Prof. Gaudencio Garcia. I do not know this eminent professor, Prof. Garcia, but I remember Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile referring to Prof. Garcia, during his speech before the UP Law graduating class of 2012; as his drill-master in Political Law.
There is even a more delusional tale, actually a story about a terror professor who supposedly once placed a 45 caliber gun atop his, the professor’s table, while class recitation was going on.
And funnier still, I remember hearing about a very competent U.P. professor who got into a bind as he was involved in an amorous dalliance with a student. It was bruited about that in the ensuing investigation as some kind of a disciplinary proceeding was commenced, the professor perhaps cornered and embarrassed by the line of questioning by his peers in the investigation committee, turned ballistic.
Thus, on top of his voice, when he turned wild and upset, the professor in stentorian tone boomed: “WHAT CAN I DO, I AM IN LOVEEEEEEEE!”. Yes, the professor sustained enunciating the word LOVE, as seemingly without an ending!
Our UP Law 79 classmate Jose “Joey” Osana, who eventually became a tax expert at the SGV reminisced about those perplexing written examinations that we went through. Indeed, during one of our reunions, Joey recalled that one time when Prof. Bienvenido Ambion gave us a departmental examination in Criminal Law, we waited until almost 10:00 PM.
Word was that Prof. Ambion may have at the last minute thought of revising the examination questions or that he may have wakened up late or have overslept from his afternoon nap.
But, what intrigued us most was what a classmate of ours disclosed when he arrived, as we were then all seated at the Malcolm theater (the usual venue for departmental examinations wherein all the students of the 3 sections; the 2 day sections and the evening section are assembled to tackle the same written examination questions). The tattle-teller recounted that on his way to U.P. Diliman, he saw our eminent professor, Prof. Ambion, enter the Delta Theater, which was then located near the corner of Quezon Avenue and West Avenue. Thus, when he arrived at the entrance of the Malcolm theater, he sort of proclaimed: “MAHABA-HABA PA ANG PAG-AANTAY NATIN, NAKITA KO SI PROF. AMBION MUKHANG MAG-RE-RELAX PA MUNA AT PUMASOK AT MANONOOD PA YATA NG SINE DOON SA DELTA THEATER.” [English translation: “We will still have a long wait as I saw Prof. Ambion on my way here, perhaps he still wants to relax. He entered the Delta Theater cinema plausibly to watch a movie.”]
Most of those who heard the tale ignored it; some even laughed. But when it turned out that the wall clock eventually struck with the hour hand pointing at number 9, most eventually believed the tattle-teller’s tale as true.
Actually, Prof. Ambion arrived at almost 10:00 PM (the exam was scheduled at 6:00 PM) and the examination lasted until 12:30 AM. As everybody was beginning to be fatigued and bored at waiting, some were sleeping, some were even doing weird things. I gazed upon my jolly friend Ramon “Chito” Balite (U.P. Law 78) who was enjoying his make-believe and improvised war game (while waiting for Prof. Ambion) as though holding on tight to an imaginary machine gun. And he would fire incessantly upon the direction of the stage and unto the Malcolm theater ceiling, purportedly targeting fighter planes, complete with his bouncing motion acting out the supposed recoil of machine gun fire.
There was even an examination held among us evening section students in our EVIDENCE class when the highest score garnered was I think about 57 only, out of a perfect score of 100. The lowest mark, I think was even below 20. I got a grading mark, if my memory proves me right, of 41. It was good that Prof. Antonio Bautista brought down the passing mark. I distinctly remember Oscar “Oca” Raro (U.P. Law 78) smugly telling me with a smirk on his face: “ANG TAAS NG NAKUHA MONG GRADE AH! [English translation: “Hey, you’ve gotten a high mark”.] It turned out however that Oca got the highest score.
But what I cannot forget is the departmental examination in CORPORATION LAW, which is the subject being taught by the tandem of the affable and gracious Campos Spouses: Prof. Jose Campos for the Evening Section and his elegant and stately wife, Prof. Clara Campos for the Day Sections.
Everybody was anxiously waiting for the results of the examination as it is popularly admitted that the subject on Corporation Law is one among the law subjects that is a hard nut to crack. The phrase “hard not to crack”, is actually Prof. Jose Campos’ signature phrase which would repeatedly spring forth out of his mouth while teaching his subjects notably Negotiable Instruments Law and Corporation Law.
Reportedly, when a day section student politely asked Prof. Jose Campos as to who topped the Corporation Law exam, the portly professor who always comes to class in an elegantly sewn business suit, said that it was someone from the evening section.
When word came out that an evening student topped the test, everyone from the evening section assumed that it was Joey Osana who topped the Corporation Law test. It was because Joey was a Certified Public Accountant, a Magna Cum Laude at the University of the East where he earned his pre-law accounting degree and that invariably, he has been topping the past examinations in the evening section classes. Thus, when Joey Osana arrived from work at the Malcolm Hall, I think it was Gina Calleja who egged Joey to give some kind of a blow-out. As Gina, is some kind of a lady whom one cannot easily refuse, Joey eventually obliged and a simple snack at the UP Law cafeteria ensued with Joey footing the bill.
Eventually, when the graded examination booklets were brought out for dissemination to the students, it turned out that it was I who topped the test. It was good that Joey did not ask for reimbursement from me.