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Meet Camille Ting, the lawyer who made history as Supreme Court's first female spokesperson

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Apr 19, 2024 8:09 pm

When Atty. Camille Sue Mae Ting achieved her goal of becoming a full-fledged lawyer, she never imagined that she would one day make history as the first female spokesperson for the highest court in the Philippines. 

On April 16, the Supreme Court (SC) announced on its official website that it has appointed Ting as the new head of the Office of the Spokesperson, along with former ABS-CBN journalist Mike Navallo as the new Public Information Office (PIO) chief.

Described as a "certified court insider," Ting has been with the high court for 11 years now, having started as a News Analyst at the PIO before steadily rising through the ranks.

Now, she has been given the responsibility of being the fifth spokesperson for the SC after Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka, something that she considers as an exciting opportunity.

"I'm feeling incredibly excited, humbled, and honored. It's a tremendous responsibility to serve as the voice for such a pivotal institution like the Supreme Court, who upholds justice in the rule of law in society," Ting said in an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe.

Rising to the challenge

Ting's appointment came when her friends encouraged her to apply for the position after the SC posted a notice of vacancy.

With her years of experience in the courtroom, coupled with her knowledge of how the SC decides its cases, she decided to push through the application process, seeing it as an opportunity for her to be a bridge between the institution and the public.

After a tough interview process with Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo and 14 other justices, she was eventually chosen to be the one to lead the court's communications.

Being a lawyer is already a tough job in itself, but representing the high court takes the pressure to a whole new level.

"This new role has its own challenges, and there is a lot of pressure because I believe I have very big shoes to fill and because my predecessors really performed quite well in the role," Ting noted.

As an SC spokesperson, Ting is tasked with effectively communicating the court's decisions, resolutions, and issuances, as well as the projects and innovations, to the public so that they can understand what they are doing.

Despite the weight on her shoulders, the legal practitioner believes she can get through any hurdle with proper preparation, "I have to make sure that I am updated with all the cases and everything that's happening in the Supreme Court. So when the media or the public will ask me about a certain case, I always have to have a ready answer."

Amid all her duties, Ting is committed to looking after her health, too.

"I have to take care of myself both mentally and physically so that I may be able to perform the job to the best of my abilities and resilience," she said.

She continued, "I know that no one's perfect, and because I'm new in the role, I may make mistakes, but again, I just need to be willing to improve and to push on so that I can perform my job well and efficiently."

Hunger for justice

Like most hard-earned dreams, Ting's journey in the legal profession started during her childhood.

"When I was a kid, my parents always ingrained in me that I should become a lawyer. As a child, I wasn't really aware of what a lawyer was supposed to be doing, but nevertheless, I still pursued the career," she recalled.

While she finished her pre-law courses in college as well as her internship, Ting temporarily strayed away from completing her studies.

"At that point in time, I wasn't very committed to becoming a lawyer. I wanted to do other things, so after graduating from college, I started working. My first job was in the call center," she shared.

Over the years, however, she once again found her spark for pursuing a law degree, and when asked why, the Ateneo de Manila graduate said, "I like challenges and I believe that the law is very challenging."

She added, "Number two, it's about the rights of the people. The law is there to protect and uphold the rights of everyone, so that's what really made me interested in going back."

Outside the court

When she's not reviewing intricate cases, Ting unwinds by curling up with a good book or hitting the links for a round of golf.

"When I'm not working one of my hobbies is reading books. I like reading books, all kinds, but mostly fiction," she said. "I also enjoy playing golf, so if I'm not at work, I would rather be at the golf course or the driving range."

"I also like keeping myself fit, so I do pilates and spinning classes. And I am also a dog mom to six dogs. So my hands are kind of full with my dogs," she added.

With her new position, Ting now serves as an inspiration to many women and young girls who also have big dreams of their own.

"I hope to encourage women and other young girls that they too can achieve their dreams and they too can dominate in a profession that is traditionally dominated by males, just like the legal industry," she highlighted.

For those who want to follow in her footsteps and have a successful career in law, Ting advised to continuously educate yourself.

"For me, law school isn't enough. You have to continuously educate yourself not only in the law, but in other fields as well so you will be a more rounded person," she urged. "Always try to go to as many classes as you can, seminars, workshops, here or abroad, if possible."

"Another one would be to always improve your basic life skills, working skills, and skills that are relevant to the legal profession, because these are very invaluable and once you have them, people will recognize them and it will really help in your career," she added.