April 20, 2024

DURA LEX SED lex was the full text of the Latin principle which translates in English: “the Law maybe hard (severe) but it is the Law”; or literally: “Hard law but law”.
SUCH QUOTATION MY Undergrad classmates used to pride in re-quoting, whenever they had the chance. And
TRUE TO THEIR attachment to the Dura lex.. which they obviously got from some of our lawyer-professors, almost all of them took up Law later.
YES, THEY DID. And they became lawyers practicing – active and popular. Others later became fiscals, judges (I’m aware of at least two), and yes(!), successful politicians too(!); e.g.
ONE CLASSMATE BECAME Provincial Governor; another, a Vice-governor; several, Board Members and Councilors – City and Municipal; and one Municipal Mayor (of Banaue, Ifugao), and so forth.
REFLECTING NOW, I am almost convinced the Dura lex.. propelled them to Success! At least, in their initial years, after passing the Bar.
THE MORE ‘OPEN’ ones among them would, in an informal conversation we had had, suddenly ‘shape up’, after all the stories of ‘severe’ subjects, lessons, and teachers: “Real hard.. but we wanted to become lawyers.. as Atty. (they’ll cite a name) says: “Dura lex, sed lex!” Then
THEY ALL LAUGH, and to our respective classes we went.. smiling – or further commenting, at what were just said in those years.
[WE WERE CLASSMATES – in some subjects; but not all. For example, one (Canteen) conversation would constitute the most of us, Liberal Arts – of several majors: English, AB-Econ, Poli-Sci and History (the most numerous); one, Literature (who recentlyretired as a Judge), myself – in Mass-Comm, and one or two ‘other course’ cross-enrollees.
[EVEN AFTER FINISHING our Undergrads, we at times met – or agreed to meet, at some parties, gatherings, or celebrations; and at one instance or another, the Dura lex.. years would grip us so. Perchance, we were ‘attached’ to it as a great: inspiration, guide; a reminder to ourselves that we were in College, to get ourselves educated, and be ‘future leaders of our people’; or so we thought].
TRUE ENOUGH MANY of us came through – in spite of the ‘hardships’ of student life and the Times; in spite of the hard laws (dura lex) we had to hurdle, comply with, and abide by. Now, or in these Contemporary times,
THE DURA LEX.. applications still is very much alive and practical(?). Like in instances:
YOU MAY HEAR someone say: “I lost in that case.. why? At first, it was coming clear, we were winning.. but two hearings after.. yes, we got the results.. it was adverse to us xxx”. Or, another one:
“THE CASE OF Julius and his family is now in the High Court.. it has been in the Lower Courts for some time.. don’t you think, it is because they’re up against a big Company or entity that they lost – two times already xxx?”
IN BOTH CASES, if you are the sole audience, you can volunteer some comments – in answer; then, finish the conversation with: “just what our school folks and teachers anterior say: Dura lex sed lex,Amen?”


OF RECENT NOTE, however, we can try the ‘wisdom’ of the Dura lex.. in our daily lives, in our present prevailing situations and applications. Let’s start National.
THE GCTA CRAFTED and authored by established luminaries, it was perceived to be a good, humane – even maybe a ‘perfect’ Law.. until,
RECENTLY, WHEN IT was discovered that through its application, many were ‘freed’.. and had to “surrender or be recalled back to jail.. xxx”
DESPITE THE ‘CRITICISMS’ of the GCTA as ‘unfair’, ‘defective’. or ‘faulty’, etc., law, why can’t some of us say also: “yes, maybe. But it’s the law. Dura lex sed lex, you remember?”
RECENTLY, ON THE Tabloid Police files Tonite (Sept. 28, 2019), read a sub-heading: “DOJ: 52 ex-convicts na sumuko dahil sa isyu ng GCTA, ire-release na”, because, et. alii, they didn’t fall under the ‘heinous crimes’ definition. This particular instance – whether done this time already or not yet, you and I get the ‘impression’ that the Law
MAY NOT ALWAYS be durus or ‘hard’? That it can’t be just that watertight all along? And there’s got to be some exceptions. Another instance: local or provincial.
IN BENGUET, SOME citizens are proposing the creation of two congressional districts due to sound reasons they cite, for example: for more ‘distributed’ delivery of services; to generate job opportunities for our new overflowing graduates; in line with socio-political ‘developments’; etcetera; but
SOME ALSO ARE ‘hot’ objecting this proposal. Among other things, they are the area, or income, or population requirements they augur: “as provided for by Law”. They’re in fact saying: dura lex..again? That the requirements maybe ‘hard’ but these are the laws’.
SHOULD THE IFENGETS just wait – until they’re numerous enough for the population requirement? Or, “able enough’, financially, and so on?
ASK THE LAWYERS: a law can be modified and repealed(!) if needed. Best of all: it can be made or enacted.. to become a new Law! So, after all:
AN EXISTING LAW (or provision) need not to be that hard or durus at all, or forever – to limit the ‘Pursuit’ of Happiness of the People, as primordially enshrined in our Saligang Batas or Constitution.. Or, need it be, at ‘most’ times?