CJ Peralta, SJ Bernabe Head FLP Boards of Judges

Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta heads the Board of Judges of the Legal Scholarship Program of the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity (FLP), while Senior Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe chairs the Board of Judges of the FLP Dissertation Writing Contest. The FLP Legal Scholarship Program selects 20 outstanding third and fourth year law students from around the Philippines. In partnership with Tan Yan Kee Foundation (TYK), FLP awards each scholar P200,000 per school year. The first batch of FLP scholars all passed last year’s bar exam with two of them landing in the top ten – Sean James Borja, 1st place and Katrina Monica Gaw, 5th place.

This year, 33 applied from whom the Board of Judges will select 10 third year scholars. Of the 10 third year scholars last year, nine retained their scholarships for their fourth year class. Thus, the Board of Judges will select one more to complete the 10 fourth year law scholars. The FLP Dissertation Writing Contest aims to augment existing literature on the Foundation’s core philosophy of liberty and prosperity under the rule of law. In partnership with Ayala Corporation, it awards the 1st place winner P300,000, 2nd place – P200,000, three 3rd places – P100,000 each, and 20 finalists, P20,000 each. The contest is open to all Filipino law students, including those taking masteral degrees. Deadline for submitting entries is April 30, 2020. This year’s 1st prize was awarded to Josiah David Quising of the Far Eastern University, 2nd prize to Diana Lou Boado of the Lyceum of the Philippines University. The three 3rd place winners were Charles de Belen of San Beda University, Beverly Lumbera of LUMSA University-Rome, and Clarissa Mae Sawali of FEU. The FLP was founded in 2011 to perpetuate the core judicial philosophy of retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban – that jurists and lawyers should safeguard liberty and nurture prosperity under the rule of law. The members of the FLP Board of Trustees are CJ Panganiban (Chairman), former Education Secretary Edilberto de Jesus, retired Supreme Court Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, former BSP Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr., Evelyn Dumdum, Joel Emerson Gregorio, Prof. Elenita Panganiban and Maria Elena P.S. Yaptangco.

View PDF copy of press release here:
CJ Peralta, SJ Bernabe Head FLP Boards of Judges https://forlibertyandprosperity.files.wordpress.com/2019/11/press-release-cj-peralta-sj-bernabe-2.pdf

About the Foundation

Retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, FLP Chairman, believes that in litigations involving the civil liberty of our people, the scales of justice should weigh heavily against the government and in favor of the people, pursuant to the doctrine of strict scrutiny. But in matters affecting the economy of the country and the prosperity of our people, courts—in the absence of grave abuse of discretion—must defer to the Executive and Legislative Branches of government, in accordance with the principle of deferential interpretation of laws and executive issuances. He also believes in private enterprise as the engine of economic growth. Thus, government must promote entrepreneurship and encourage private capital. At the same time, the government has the duty of overseeing the fair and equitable distribution of private wealth to all our people, especially the poor and marginalized. The government, likewise, has the responsibility of enlarging the areas of economic growth for the benefit of future generations of Filipinos.

The Foundation for Liberty & Prosperity (FLP) was established nearly a decade ago to promote and propagate the judicial philosophy of our former chief justice, summed up as “Liberty and Prosperity under the Rule of Law”. Its main agenda is to create programs that will support the country’s government and business sectors in ensuring inclusive economic growth and expansion. The FLP believes that the economic pie must not only be fairly divided but must also be enlarged so that more benefits could be spread to more people under the social justice principle of giving more law to those who have less in life. At the same time, the FLP also asserts that promoting and developing the country’s economy must be the primary responsibility of its political leaders. In many ways, these perspectives entail paradigm shifts that are necessary to attain the full potential of the Philippines as a rapid developing nation.

To mark its 10th anniversary, the FLP has commenced planning and fundraising for a library and research center, as well as a futuristic museum that will benefit an even larger audience.

The FLP’s founding Board of Trustees was composed of Artemio V. Panganiban (retired Chief Justice), Chairman, with Hilario G. Davide Jr. (retired Chief Justice), Edilberto C. De Jesus (former Philippine Secretary of Education and President of the Asian Institute of Management), Joel Emerson J. Gregorio (FLP’s Corporate Secretary), Jennifer J. Manalili (Commissioner at the Professional Regulation Commission of the Philippines), Maria Theresa P. Mañalac (Professor at the Asian Institute of Management), Elenita C. Panganiban (former Associate Dean of the Asian Institute of Management), Washington Z. Sycip (founder of the Asian Institute of Management and Sycip Gorres Velayo and Company), and Maria Elena P. Yaptangco (President and Chief Executive of The Baron Travel Corporation), as members.

Current members of its Board of Trustees (as of October 2019) are Artemio V. Panganiban (retired Chief Justice), Chairman, with Edilberto C. De Jesus (former Philippine Secretary of Education and President of the Asian Institute of Management), Evelyn Toledo- Dumdum (FLP’s President and former World Bank Consultant), Joel Emerson J. Gregorio (ADB Consultant, Law Professor and FLP’s Corporate Secretary), Tanya Karina A. Lat (Law Professor and former Executive Director of the Philippine Association of Law Schools), Elenita C. Panganiban (former Associate Dean of the Asian Institute of Management), Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez (retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court), Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. (retired Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), and Maria Elena P. Yaptangco (President and Chief Executive of The Baron Travel Corporation), as members.

Successfully tapping the legal minds from the top law schools in the country, the FLP has advanced its goals through its core education programs: the Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty & Prosperity (co-sponsored by the Metrobank Foundation), the Legal Scholarship Program (in partnership with the Tan Yan Kee Foundation), and the Dissertation Writing Contest (in partnership with the Ayala Group). Proudly supporting excelling law students, the FLP now boasts of two bar exam topnotchers and a great majority of its scholars who graduated with honors.

The Foundation for Liberty & Prosperity was issued a certificate of incorporation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on October 27, 2011.

8th Annual Report

(January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018)

 

I. Introduction

Officially established on October 27, 2011, the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity is now on its seventh year of operation.  Led by its Board of Trustees — namely Retired Chief Justice (CJ) Artemio V. Panganiban, Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, Washington Z. Sycip [until October 7, 2017], Edilberto C. De Jesus, Elenita C. Panganiban, Maria Elena P. Sandejas-Yaptangco, Jennifer J. Manalili, Evelyn T. Dumdum and Joel Emerson J. Gregorio — the FLP has steadily gained recognition from its stakeholders and partners through its various programs, projects and activities.

The Foundation’s vision is a society that fully appreciates the necessity of “Liberty & Prosperity” and their essential interdependence.  It underscores FLP’s core philosophy, that liberty and prosperity are mutually inclusive.  The Foundation’s mission is to educate the people regarding this fundamental and essential interrelation between liberty and prosperity by initiating, maintaining, organizing, and supporting projects aimed at promoting, educating, training, developing, assisting and protecting liberty and prosperity under the rule of law.  This year, FLP continues to implement its program on legal education with focus on four (4) key areas of development as stated in its Manual of Operations: “value formation,”legal and scholarly education,” “information dissemination and philosophy propagation” as well as organizing “fora, events, conferences and the like.”  The Foundation has also sponsored and undertaken activities that likewise advance a fifth key area of development: “publications and media disseminations.”

FLP Officers

The FLP continues to serve its purpose through its FLP officers, namely CJ Artemio V. Panganiban (Chairman of the Board), Evelyn T. Dumdum (President), Rebecca G. Felix (Treasurer), Joel Emerson J. Gregorio (Corporate Secretary), and Susana N. Gavino (Executive Director).  In addition, the chairs of the various standing committees are: CJ Artemio V. Panganiban (Executive Committee), Rebecca G. Felix (Finance Committee), Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez (Governance Committee), and Edilberto C. De Jesus (Education Committee).

The first batch of officers were CJ Artemio V. Panganiban, Chairman of the Board, Maria Elena P. Yaptangco, President; Evelyn T. Dumdum, Executive Vice President; Elenita C. Panganiban, Treasurer; and Joel Emerson J. Gregorio, Corporate Secretary.

 

II. Ongoing Programs and Projects

The FLP was founded to perpetuate the core judicial philosophy of then Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban — that jurists and lawyers should not only safeguard the liberty of our people but must also nurture their prosperity under the rule of law.  In the first few years since its incorporation, FLP focused on the following activities: (1) FLP’s first project, the “Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity,” (2) the official FLP Website (www.libpros.com), and (3) the “Liberty & Prosperity Journal,” hitherto an e-newsletter.  By 2018, the Foundation is implementing two education-centered programs to complement its first project: the FLP Dissertation Writing Contest and FLP Legal Scholarship Program.

 

Professorial Chairs Program

The “Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity” is being implemented for more than six (6) years now following its launch on 18 September 2012 at the Metrobank Auditorium, Makati City.  This project is in partnership with the Metrobank Foundation, which has so far donated a total of One Million Four Hundred Thousand Pesos (₱ 1,400,000) in co-sponsorship of the program.  The total funds for the project, including FLP’s co-sponsorship fund, amounts to Two Million Eight Hundred Thousand Pesos (₱ 2,800,000).

intended its first program, in the format of the professorial chair project, to be educational and implemented in an academic setting.  The main objective is to get educational institutions and law schools to research and propagate the philosophy at the level of the academia (including training of students, professors, lawyers, and judges.)

started with the appointment of nine (9) deans of distinguished law schools and the Chancellor of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA).[1]  The outputs varied in form from traditional lectures, debates, as well as moot court competitions.  The written lectures from the chair holders have been uploaded to the FLP website and published in the Liberty & Prosperity e-newsletter.  These shall be compiled and will eventually be published in a book form as well as other modes of communications under the information, education and communication projects of FLP.

In 2017, four new appointments were made: Dean Melencio S. Sta. Maria, Far Eastern University, Dean Gemy Lito L. Festin, Polytechnic University of the Philippines; Professor Elizabeth Aguiling-Pangalangan, University of the Philippines College of Law; and Professor Tanya Karina A. Lat, Ateneo de Manila University School of Law. This brings the number of chair holders to 13.

The table below shows the output of each chair holder:

  Date Chair Holder Output
1 17 October  2018 Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo, University of San Carlos School  of Law and Governance (Cebu City) Writ of Prosperity
2 12 May 2018 Dean Gemy Lito M. Festin, College  of Law, Polytechnic University of the Philippines  

“Tutelary rules principle” as legal tool for easing economic rights’ access to justice in the Philippines

 

3 21 April 2018 Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Ateneo de Manila University School of Law Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Context of the Peace Process with the CPP-NPA-NDFP: Issues and Concerns
4 26 September 2017 Dean Melencio Sta. Maria, Far Estern University Institute of Law  

Human Rights, Politics, International Law and Trade Arrangement and Economic Prosperity: A Reading of the Philippine Situation

5 9 December    2016 Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo, University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance (Cebu City) Charting the Patch to a Relevant and Responsive Legal Education in the Philippines: A Draft Law Curriculum for the 21st Century Filipino Lawyer
6 26 November 2014  

Dean Mikhail Lee. L. Maxino, Silliman University College of Law (Dumaguete City)

Right to life, Liberty, Prosperity: A Seamless Trilogy to Prosperity
7 11 September 2014 Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo, University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance (Cebu City) ASEAN Integration 2015 and the Imperative for Reforms in the Legal Profession and the Legal Education in the Philippines
8 5 March 2014 Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Ateneo de Manila University School of Law  

The 2014 Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban – Liberty & Prosperity Public International Law Moot Court Competition

9 21 February      2014 Dean Nilo T. Divina, University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law The Unpaid Creditor vs The Distressed Debtor: Proposals to Balance their Competing Interests
10 7 February 2014 Dean Andres D. Bautista, Far Eastern University Institute of Law  

Regulating the Practice of Professions by Foreigners

 

11 29 November 2013 Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Ateneo de Manila University School of Law Comparative Analysis of the Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 and Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB)
12 3 October 2013 Dean Reynaldo U. Agranzamendez, University of the Cordilleras College of Law (Baguio City)  

The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA): A Vehicle for Liberty and Prosperity

 

13 20 August 2013 Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo, University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance (Cebu City) LIBRT, The Economic Provisions of the 1987 Constitution be Amended so as to Allow Liberalization of Economic Policies by Congress

University of Santo Tomas Law Debate Team Position Paper on Charter Change

University of San Carlos Law Debate Team Position Paper on Charter Change

 

14 18 April 2013 Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna, Philippine Judicial Academy Supreme Court Decisions on the Economic Provisions of the Constitution
15 13 March 2013 Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Ateneo de Manila University School of Law  

 

Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban Liberty and Prosperity Debate (Finals)

The Constitutionality of the Aurora Pacific Eco Zone (APECO), per LIBRT R.A. 9490 (as amended by RA 10083)

APECO Position Paper: Affirmative

APECO Position Paper: Negative

16 6 March 2013 Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo, University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance (Cebu City)  

The Powerful Judiciary and Rule of Law in the Philippines

17 5 November 2012 Dean Jose Manuel I. Diokno, De La Salle University College of Law  

The Philippine Judiciary: Problems and Prospects

 

18 19 September 2012 Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Ateneo de Manila University School of Law Finance and Law: Understanding the Institutional and Functional Role of the International Monetary Fund During Sovereign Debt Crisis Situations

 

FLP Dissertation Writing Contest

The FLP Dissertation Writing Contest is a five-year program which aims to augment the Foundation’s first project by incorporating new, dynamic and perhaps more profound input to the body of works discussing FLP’s core philosophy.  We believe that the fresh insight and unique perspective of law students will provide bold, novel and innovative avenues for the development of the Foundation’s tenets.

FLP will look for the best thesis and/or dissertation – or its equivalent in law schools not offering the Juris Doctor program – that espouses the philosophy of liberty and prosperity under the rule of law.  The contest is co-sponsored with the Ayala Group and implemented in cooperation with the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS).

The contest is open to third year and fourth year law students as well as those taking up Master of Law.  Only one (1) entry per student is allowed.  Each entry must be a thesis/dissertation or its equivalent that espouses the philosophy of liberty and prosperity under the rule of law.  An entry must be certified to have gone through the process of a thesis/dissertation or a procedure similar thereto and that it is of thesis/dissertation type and quality.

The Foundation will also tap its roster of professorial chair holders, among others, to create the Panel of Judges who will choose the winning entries and conduct dialogues where the winners shall discuss, argue and debate their submissions, engendering a deeper understanding of the core philosophy of the Foundation.  These discourses on their work with the Panel of Judges will foment the kind of analysis that will contribute to the evolution, development and enrichment of the Foundation’s philosophy.  FLP will also constitute a Screening Committee to assist the Panel of Judges.

Up to twenty (20) qualifying entries will be chosen by the Screening Committee from all entries submitted.  Thereafter, a short list of up to ten (10) entries will be chosen from the twenty (20) qualifying entries.

The FLP Panel of Judges will choose the five (5) recipients of the primary awards (first, second and three third places) from the shortlisted entries. Monetary awards are as follows: ₱300,000 to the first-place winner, ₱200,000 to the second-place winner, and ₱100,000 each to three (3) third place winners. These winners will also receive plaques of recognition.  The twenty (20) qualifying entries chosen by the FLP Dissertation Contest Committee will each receive ₱20,000 and a certificate of award.

The Ayala Corporation has already agreed to facilitate the provision of funds for this project through its various partners and have committed to FLP the funding for the entire five-year program.

Activities in AY 2017-2018. Deadline for submission of entries was on November 30, 2017. The Foundation received a total of 18 entries from the following schools:

School No. of Entries
1.     Ateneo de Manila University 7
2.     Centro Escolar University 1
3.     De La Salle University 1
4.     Far Eastern University Institute of Law 1
5.     Polytechnic University of the Philippines 1
6.     San Beda University – Manila 1
7.     University of Oxford 1
8.     University of the Philippines 1
9.     University of San Carlos 4
Total 18

Of the 18 entries, only 6 entries were considered for the final round by the Panel of Judges, chaired by Senior Justice Presbitero J, Velasco, Jr., with Former Secretary of Education, Dr. Edilberto C.  De Jesus, PALS President and Ateneo Law School Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Ayala Managing Director and General Counsel Atty. Solomon Hermosura, and Ateneo Law School Professor Tanya Karina A. Lat as members.

The final judging of entries was done on February 8, 2018. The judges were unanimous in awarding the first and second place winners. They also agreed no entry qualified for third place. The winning entries are shown in the table below:

Place Name Title
1st Place  

1. Raphael Lorenzo Aguiling Pangalangan, University of Oxford

Enforcing Liberty and Prosperity through the Courts of Law: A Shift in Legal Thought from Juridification to Judicialization
2nd Place  

2. Tess Marie P. Tan, University of San Carlos

 

Liberty and Prosperity in the Digital Age: Determining the Proper Treatment of Online Intermediaries in Light of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
Other Finalists 3. Rexlyn Anne M. Evora, Polytechnic University of the Philippines  

Delivering to the Poor: Microfinance Policies in Cooperatives in Rural Areas in the Philippines as a Means in Promoting Entrepreneurship and Economic Independence

4. Helen May M. Frias, Far Eastern University The Role of Private Justice: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the Promotion and Protection of Liberty and Prosperity Under the Rule of Law
5. Janine Faye A. Napoles, Centro Escolar University  

Leadership Quality Reconsideration: Strengthening the Vanguards of Liberty and Prosperity through the Imposition of Academic Qualifications on National Elective Officials

 

6. Odulio, Joben Mariz Tiongco, Ateneo de Manila University

Weeding out the Fake Grassroots: Expanding the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 to include Online Astroturfing as an Offense

Awarding of prizes and plaques/certificates of recognition was done on March 23, 2018 at the Ateneo Professional Schools Auditorium.

Activities in AY 2018-2019. The FLP conducted an information campaign regarding the contest in all law schools of the country.  Flyers and posters were sent to the law schools throughout the country through their respective deans for dissemination to the law students to encourage them to submit entries to the dissertation writing contest. FLP officials visited law schools in the National Capital Region and in Cebu and discussed the mechanics/guidelines of the contest. Among these law schools are the University of the Philippines, Ateneo Law School, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, Centro Escolar University, Far Eastern University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of San Carlos, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, and San Beda University. Information regarding the contest were posted online on the FLP and some law school websites and through social media – Facebook pages of FLP, PALS, Association of Law School Students of the Philippines, and law schools. FLP also tapped its scholars in disseminating information regarding the contest to their fellow students.

The FLP Education Committee Chairman initiated discussions with some law school deans and Holders of the Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs to get the views of the Deans on how to improve the number and the quality of the dissertations submitted to the FLP.  The Education Committee also wanted an opportunity to understand the research priorities of the country’s best law schools and how the FLP, through the awards competition and its other programs, might be able to help them achieve their objectives.

As a result of these discussions, the FLP Board approved the following changes in the contest guidelines:

  1. Some law schools allow students to submit a collective dissertation to fulfill JD requirements. FLP will allow these collaborative dissertations to be considered for the Awards Program.
  2. Faculty mentors of winning contestants shall receive monetary awards as follows: Php 100,000 for the faculty mentor of the first-place winner, Php 75,000 for second-place winner, and Php 50,000 each for the 3 third place winners.

Deadline for submission of entries was moved to end of April 2019 on the request of UP college of Law as this is the time when papers of their students are expected to be completed.

Meanwhile, FLP organized its Board of Judges with Supreme Court Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe (Chairman), and Retired Supreme Court Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, PALS President Joan Sarausos-Largo, Ayala Corporation Managing Director and General Counsel Solomon Hermosura, and Atty. Joel Emerson J. Gregorio as members.

 

FLP Scholarship Program

This is a four-year program.  The Foundation is sponsoring a unique, merit-based FLP Scholarship Program. Co-sponsored by the Tan Yan Kee Foundation and also undertaken in cooperation with PALS, it aims to look for the best and the brightest law students in the country.

There will be ten (10) scholars for the program and the scholarship is open to those entering their third year as law students.  FLP is opening ten (10) slots to all law schools that have obtained a passing percentage above the overall passing percentage for the bar exams of the relevant year based on the statistical data from the Supreme Court Office of the Bar Confidant.  No law school shall have more than three (3) awardees in a year.

Applicants must submit an essay written in English with a minimum of two thousand (2,000) words and a maximum of 3,000 words.  The essay must be on the philosophy of the Foundation, expanding on and espousing the precept: safeguarding of liberty and nurturing of prosperity under the rule of law, and how he/she will apply the same in his/her legal career.

There will be an interview to be conducted by the FLP Panel of Judges who will be given full discretion in the conduct of the said interview.  The Panel shall consider the candidate’s ability to demonstrate clearly, logically and concisely what he/she has done and intends to do to propagate and espouse the philosophy of liberty and prosperity under the rule of law.  Although the scholarship is merit-based, the less privileged shall be preferred in case of a tie between two nominees.  Selection shall be final when affirmed by the FLP.

Awardees must agree to the terms and conditions of the FLP Scholarship Program, including but not limited to, the requirement to provide volunteer services for the Foundation as well as giving back to the FLP Scholarship Program to ensure its sustainability such as teaching law subjects that espouse the philosophy of liberty and prosperity, developing a concept/program along the philosophy of the FLP and commitment to mentoring other law students, subject to institutional arrangements with partner law schools.  Awardees must likewise agree to enter into a formal commitment agreement with FLP and the pertinent academic institution for this purpose.

Each of the ten FLP Scholarship is a monetary scholarship award of ₱200,000 of which a maximum of ₱100,000 shall be for tuition fee and ₱20,000 for book allowance.  The remaining ₱80,000 shall constitute the scholar’s stipend.  For the tuition fee component, only such amount needed shall be given to the awardee.  If the tuition fee component of the monetary scholarship award is in excess of the awardee’s tuition, the balance shall be used by FLP for the scholarship program.  If the awardee is entitled to another scholarship award, he/she will still receive the monetary scholarship award to be provided by the FLP.

The Tan Yan Kee Foundation has provided a total of Ten Million Four Hundred Thousand Pesos (₱10,400,000) for the first three academic years of the program.

Activities in School Year 2018–2019. The FLP is continuously undertaking activities that will broaden the reach of its programs. As usually done at the start of its program implementation, FLP conducted an information campaign on the FLP legal scholarship program in the 31 law schools of the country that had a percentage of passing higher than the overall percentage of passing for the 2016 bar exams.  FLP produced handouts and posters and sent these to the qualified law schools throughout the country through their respective deans for dissemination to the law students to encourage them to submit applications to the legal scholarship program. Posters were also displayed in the law schools’ bulletin board.

FLP officials visited law schools in the National Capital Region and in Cebu and discussed the mechanics/guidelines of the program. Among these law schools are the University of the Philippines, Ateneo Law School, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, Centro Escolar University, Far Eastern University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of San Carlos, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, and San Beda University. Information regarding the contest were posted online on the FLP and some law school websites, and through social media – Facebook pages of FLP, PALS, Association of Law School Students of the Philippines, law school student councils, and law schools. FLP also tapped its incumbent scholars in disseminating information regarding the scholarship program to their fellow students.

In the meetings with law school deans, FLP officials learned the challenges law students face in applying for FLP scholarship: the requirements of the FLP scholarship program are too high, students are having a hard time getting the grades required in the program, most of their students are working students and this contributes to the difficulty in maintaining high grades.

AY 2017-2018 Scholars. The final judging and selection of FLP Scholars for AY 2017-2018 was done on February 2, 2018. In addition to the five (5) AY 2016-2017 scholars who were able to maintain their scholarship grants, new scholars were chosen for AY 2017-2018. Thus, the scholars for AY 2017-2018 are as follows: 

                                     NAME SCHOOL
A. Third Year Students
1      Abot, Leo Francis F. ADMU
2      Almerino, John Anthony F. USC
3      Cortez, Arvin Paolo D. ADMU
4      Ilao, Mikael Gabrielle E. UCordilleras
5      Manuel, Kenneth Glenn L. UST
6      Perez, King Anthony Y. UCebu
7      Quising, Josiah David F. FEU
8      Rojas, Jun Dexter H. PUP
9      Salvacion, Julienne Therese V. SBC- Manila
10      Villarico, Ma. Vida Malaya M. PUP
B. Fourth Year Students
1      Badua, Karina Mae A. UST
2      Borja, Sean James B. ADMU
3      Castillo, Kaycelle Ann M. FEU-Makati
4      Dy, Ervin Fredrick H. UP
5      Evora, Rexlyn Anne M. PUP
6      Gaw, Katrina Monica C. ADMU
7      Macasarte, Summerson A. St. Thomas More
8      Reago, Nigel Carmelo Q. DLSU
9      Tiglao, Jose Angelo C. DLSU
10      Vergara, Althea A. USC
11      Vergara, Vanessa Gloria S. ADMU

 Awarding of prizes and plaques/certificates of recognition was done on March 23, 2018 at the Ateneo Professional Schools Auditorium.

 Of the ten (10) 3rd year FLP Scholars, only eight (8) were able to meet the requirements for another year’s scholarship award in AY 2018-2019.

AY 2018-2019 Legal Scholarship Program. For the school year 2018-2019, Twelve (12) scholarship awards were announced for the following: 10 scholars for incumbent third year law students, and two (2) scholars for incumbent fourth year law students. The deadline for submission of entries was on September 16, 2018. The Foundation received 13 applications from 3rd year students and 4 applications from 4th year students from the following schools:

  1. Ateneo de Manila University
  2. Centro Escolar University
  3. De La Salle University
  4. Far Eastern University-Makati
  5. Saint Louis University
  6. San Beda University-Manila
  7. University of San Carlos
  8. University of Santo Tomas
  9. University of the Cordilleras

The Board of Judges for the interview and final judging of applicants to the Legal Scholarship Program for S/Y 2017-2018 was organized with Supreme Court Senior Justice Antonio Carpio as Chairman, and Former Secretary of Education Dr. Edilberto C.  De Jesus, PALS President and USC Law School Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo, Tan Yan Kee representative Ms. Elizabeth T. Alba, and Atty. Joel Emerson J. Gregorio as members. Final evaluation and interview of applicants was done on December 6, 2018.

The scholars for AY 2018-2019 are:

NAME SCHOOL
 3rd year students
1 Abratique, Banoar R. University of the Cordilleras
2 Barredo, Pamela Camille A. Far Eastern University
3 Bulacan, Angelette C. Far Eastern University
4 Domingo, Stephanie Mae B. University of the Cordilleras
5 Guinto, Maria Carissa C. San Beda University – Manila
6 Guttierez, Patrick Angelo M. Far Eastern University
7 Matsumura, Mayumi G . Ateneo de Manila University
8 Obra, Juralyn Lilian A. University of the Cordilleras
9 Perez, Carmella Gaye D. University of San Carlos
10 Ramirez, Edrea Jean V. University of Santo Thomas
4th Year Students
1 Abot, Leo Francis F. Ateneo de Manila University
2 Almerino, John Anthony F. University of San Carlos
3 Carpio, Micah Celine S. De La Salle University
4 Cortez, Arvin Paolo D. Ateneo de Manila University
5 Ilao, Mikael Gabrielle E. University of the Cordilleras
6 Malabad, Alimar Mohammad San Beda University – Manila
7 Manuel, Kenneth Glenn L. University of Santo Thomas
8 Perez, King Anthony Y. University of Cebu
9 Rojas, Jun Dexter H. Polytechnic University of the Philippines
10 Villarico, Ma. Vida Malaya M. Polytechnic University of the Philippines

 

Awards Ceremony for FLP Programs AY 2017-2018

The awarding for FLP Programs in AY 2017-2018 was held on March 23, 2018 at the APS Auditorium of the Ateneo de Manila, Rockwell Drive, Makati City. Supreme Court Acting Chief Justice Antonio T. Carpio awarded the 21 FLP scholars for the FLP Legal Scholarship Program while Supreme Court Senior Justice Presbitero J. Velasco awarded the winners and finalists of the 2017-2018 Dissertation Writing Contest of the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity (FLP) and the Ayala Corporation.

As guest of honor and speaker, Acting Chief Justice Carpio delivered his message titled “A Culture of Respect for, and Understanding of, International Law“.

 

FLP Newsletter

FLP has so far released twelve (12) e-newsletters. The two most recent issues are ready for printing and release.  These are Volume VII Issue 1 and Volume VII Issue 2.  Volume VII Issue 1 features the winning entries of the 2017-2018 Dissertation Writing Contest and the awarding of FLP scholars for AY 2017-2018. It also presented brief summaries of the public lectures of Professorial Chair Holders, PUP College of Law Dean Gemy Lito L. Festin (‘Tutelary Rules Principle’ as Legal Tool for Easing Economic Rights’ Access to Justice in the Philippines) and ADMU Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria (Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Context of the Peace Process with the CPP-NPA-NDFP: Issues and Concerns). Volume VII Issue 2, on the other hand, provides a brief overview of the papers of the finalists in the Dissertation Writing Contest AY 2017-2018. It also announced the FLP Dissertation Writing Contest 2018-2019. It also features the public lecture of Professorial Chair Holder, Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo: Writ of Prosperity.

 

FLP Website

The Foundation has continued to use a simple, neat and uniform design aesthetic for its website (www.libpros.com) that remains consistent whatever device is being used to view or access it – either desktop, tablet or smartphone.  It features front and center the three (3) education programs being undertaken by the Foundation: the Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity, FLP Dissertation Writing Contest and the FLP Legal Scholarship Program.  The guidelines and forms for the dissertation writing contest and the legal scholarship program have also been uploaded and are ready for download by interested participants and the public.  The current composition of the Board of Trustees has also been updated.  The FLP Secretariat continues to work with the site’s administrator, Mr. Kristian Jeff C. Agustin, to further improve and enhance the website.

 

III.     Recent Developments in 2018

19th PCNC Annual Assembly

The Foundation, through its Treasurer and Executive Director, participated in the 19th PCNC Annual Assembly held last June 6, 2018 at the JY Campos Hall, UNILAB Bayanihan Center, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.  As one of the accredited members in good standing, FLP was able to participate in the discussions and vote for the new members of the PCNC Board of Trustees.

 

IV. Future Plans and Direction

FLP Visual Art Competition

A project proposed by Mr. Kristian Jeff C. Agustin, the Liberty & Prosperity: Images, Figures, Expressions (LIFE) is a visual art competition that aims to make known the Foundation’s philosophy of “liberty and prosperity under the rule of law” in creative ways.  It is designed after three well-established and long-running visual art competitions in the Philippines, namely: the DPC-PLDT Visual Art Competition, the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence Competition and the Shell National Students Art Competition.

By launching a new visual art competition, the FLP can make itself more relevant to the country’s art and culture scene, which is very instrumental in capturing or defining the “zeitgeist” of a particular society.  For instance, today’s zeitgeist of “Filipino Democracy” has eventually latched on to the consciousness and culture of Filipinos by way of the media’s constant revisiting of the EDSA People Power Revolution and representations of the spirit of “Filipino-ness” (especially by means of evocative images and stories). Hence, to better promote its vision of “a society that safeguards liberty and nurtures prosperity under the rule of law” to the public, the FLP must tap and develop the potential of Filipino artists, designers, and other creative practitioners.

Coffee Table Books on the Professorial Lectures
and Speeches of CJ Panganiban

FLP also plans to partner with the Metrobank Foundation regarding the publication of two (2) coffee table books: one, a compilation of the lectures and output delivered under the CJ Panganiban Professorial Chair Program; and two, a compilation of selected speeches of CJ Panganiban.  Metrobank Foundation agreed in principle to sponsor said coffee table book projects and offered to assist FLP in undertaking the same considering that they have had several similar projects. The first coffee table book is at the concept development stage.

Support to the Reform Program of the Judiciary
and the Ombudsman

In terms of its commitment to reforms, FLP plans to work closely with the SC and the Office of the Ombudsman in establishing a reform program patterned after the SC’s Action Program for Judicial Reform (APJR).  The Foundation is planning to seek the assistance from the World Bank (which provided the funding for the APJR) and other international funding institutions in this endeavor.

Legal Education Reform Program

Another avenue as regards reform (as well as education) is FLP’s plan to partner with the Legal Education Board in developing a program to reform the legal education in the Philippines.

Teaching Exemplars on the Rule of Law

The Department of Education (DepEd) has adopted the teaching exemplars on the rule of law developed under the Public Education on the Rule of Law Advancement and Support (PERLAS) Project of the Supreme Court and DepEd. The exemplars integrate concepts of the rule of law into the basic education curriculum to educate and inform the public on the functioning of a society anchored on the justice system and to mold the students into becoming responsible and law-abiding citizens. A total of 112 teachers from 82 public schools nationwide have been trained on the use of these exemplars in 2011.

FLP will collaborate with the Department of Education in revisiting these exemplars and enhance these as may be necessary to keep these relevant to the current situation in the country. FLP plans to assist in the roll-out of these exemplars to all public and private schools in the country.

FLP Museum

The Foundation is looking at establishing an FLP Museum where various memorabilia and important items will be kept and made available for viewing of the public.  This will be through a possible purchase of the entire floor of a building in FEU Makati at cost which the Chairman has proposed to the Chairman of FEU to be put up in the land purchased by FEU where the old 6-story Zuellig building is located at the corner of Ayala and Buendia Avenues.  The Chairman of FEU said that she will bring this proposal to the Board of FEU and that she agrees in principle to sell one floor to the Foundation.

 

 V. Assets and Financial Position

As reported by then FLP President Maria Elena P. Yaptangco in her First Annual Report (2012), the Foundation was incorporated with a total of two million pesos (P2,000,000.00) as initial funds, contributed by retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban.  At present, based on the 2018 Audited Financial Report presented before and approved by the Board of Trustees, the Foundation’s total assets is seventy-one million eight hundred ninety-two thousand six hundred thirty pesos (₱71,892,630.00) which includes the value of the PCCI property in Makati.

FLP’s depository bank is Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).  The funds may be withdrawn only by signature of two of its four authorized signatories, preferably, the President and/or the Treasurer.

Apart from its cash assets, the Foundation is the recipient of copyrights over the “Ageless Passion” musical compositions of Mr. Ryan Cayabyab and lyrics thereto by Mr. Kristian Jeff C. Agustin


[1] These were—surnames in alphabetical order—(1) Atty. Reynaldo U. Agranzamendez (Dean, University of the Cordilleras College of Law); (2) retired Supreme Court Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna (Chancellor, PhilJA); (3) Atty. Andres D. Bautista (Dean (until 2014), Far Eastern University Institute of Law, now Commission on Elections [COMELEC] Chairman); (4) Atty. Sedfrey M. Candelaria (Dean, Ateneo de Manila School of Law); (5) Atty. Danilo L. Concepcion (Dean, University of the Philippines College of Law, now President of the University of the Philippines System); (6) Atty. Jose Manuel I. Diokno (Dean, De La Salle University College of Law); (7) Atty. Nilo T. Divina (Dean, University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law); (8) Atty. Joan Sarausos-Largo (Dean, University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance); (9) retired Supreme Court Justice Eduardo B. Nachura (Chairman, Arellano University Law Foundation); and (10) Atty. Manuel Quibod (Ateneo de Davao University College of Law).  Regrettably, the 10th appointee failed to respond to FLP’s cordial invitation and appointment letter; hence he was eventually and decidedly removed from the list of chair holders.

2019 FLP Awards Ceremony

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Awarding Ceremony

Bar Exam Topnotchers
New Lawyers and Scholars Who Graduated with Honors
FLP Legal Scholarship Program AY 2018-2019
FLP Dissertation Writing Contest 2018-2019

Auditorium, Ateneo Professional Schools
Rockwell Center, Makati City
May 18, 2018, 5:00 p.m.

Congratulations, Appreciation and Explanation

Closing remarks of retired Chief Justice ARTEMIO V. PANGANIBAN during the Awarding Ceremonies held on May 18, 2019 at the Ateneo de Manila Professional Schools Auditorium at Rockwell Center in Makati City in honor of the (1) bar exam topnotchers, passers and top graduates, (2) the current 2018-2019 scholars and (3) the winners of the just-concluded Dissertation Writing Contest of the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity.

 

Your honors, your excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. We are honoring today the cream of Philippine legal education, the topnotchers, honor graduates, scholars and winners of the various Education Programs of the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity, in partnership with the Tan Yan Kee Foundation and the Ayala Corporation. To begin my closing address, may I ask our honorees, a question that is relevant to us, given the just-concluded mid-term elections:

What is the difference between an ordinary robber and a corrupt politician? Answer: The ordinary robber chooses the people he or she will rob. On the other hand, the politician is chosen by the people whom he or she will rob.

Another question: Why do seniors like me love to talk to themselves? Answer: Because they always want to hear an expert’s advice. Another answer: They like to talk to themselves because they cannot get an audience of young, brilliant people to listen to them.

Aha, but today, I got you bright, young people – topnotchers, passers, honor graduates, scholars and winners – to listen to my corny jokes. Now that I have your ears, I would like to talk about three topics: One, words of congratulations; two, words of appreciation and three, words of explanation.

Words of Congratulations

To begin my words of congratulations, please join me in felicitating our number one bar exam topnotcher, Atty. Sean James Borja. He has been our scholar since our scholarship program began in 2016 when he was a junior law student. Since then, he has never disappointed us; in fact, he has always amazed us because he maintained his academic excellence and leadership qualities as well as showed his willingness and ability to internalize and promote the philosophy of liberty and prosperity under the rule of law. Moreover, he graduated as valedictorian of his class here at the Ateneo de Manila (…the best law school… in Rockwell, Makati!) and then proceeded to become number 1 in the last bar examination. As earlier announced by our emcees, he received scholarship grants of P200,000 for his third year law proper, another P200,000 for his fourth year law proper, plus P25,000 for being valedictorian, and now another P200,000 for being numero uno in the last bar exams, or a total of P625,000 in just two years. Cheers!

Please join me also in congratulating Atty. Katrina Monica Gaw for being our scholar during her fourth year law proper for which she received P200,000 and for copping the 5th place in the last bar examination for which we just gave her P100,000, or a total of P300,000. She wanted to be with us today but she had already planned a trip abroad, as her reward to herself, for her magnificent achievements. When I saw her recently, I told her she was better than I because I ranked only No. 6, so she must excel my being only chief justice!

Of course, I also greet our 20 new scholars who received P200,000 each, divided into maximum of P100,000 for tuition, P80,000 in monthly stipends, book allowance of P20,000 and a plaque of appreciation. Like Attys. Borja and Gaw, we expect them to top the bar exams.

As earlier announced, we have 10 finalists in the Dissertation Writing Contest who won P20,000 each, and from these 10, our distinguished Board of Judges selected three third prize winners for an additional cash prize of P100,000 each; one second prize winner, Diana Lou Boado of the Lyceum of the Philippines University, for an additional P200,000; and one first prize winner, Josiah David Quising of the Far Eastern University Institute of Law (the best law school in the Philippines… according to the FEU Law Alumni Association!) for an additional P300,000. Incidentally, Mr. Quising was also our scholar during his junior year in law. We did not forget their faculty advisers who were rewarded P50,000 for each of the third prize winners, P75,000 for the second prize winner and P100,000 for the first prize winner. Hail and congratulations to all of them.

My words of congratulations will not be complete unless I include the parents of our topnotchers, bar passers, scholars and dissertation winners. May I ask all you proud parents to stand up, so we can recognize you? The truth is I envy you because you have sired brilliant children who will all be brilliant lawyers, prosecutors, judges, justices and chief justices someday. In my case, and of course, also of my beloved wife, Professor Leni Panganiban, none of our five children took up law. And therefore, we will not be able to feel the parental joy of having bar exam topnotchers, passers, scholars and dissertation winners.

In their default, I encouraged our ten grandchildren to take up law, promising them full scholarship from my personal retirement benefits in any school of their choice here or abroad. Unfortunately, none has taken up the bait so far. I tried my best to convince our eldest grandson Miguel, when he was still in high school, to take up law. I even showed him my library which I said I would bequeath to him. Ironically, it turned him off. He rushed to his grandmother Leni, saying that he would not take up law because he could not imagine himself reading all the voluminous books in my library. Instead, he took up an industrial management engineering course at UP, and then proceeded to take up a Master in Entrepreneurship at the Babson College in Boston, reputed to be the best entrepreneurship school in the United States. The other day, I got a text from his mother, my eldest daughter Len, who was in Boston attending his graduation, with the good news that Miguel received Magna Cum Laude honors. Well, I said to myself, they also excel pala even if they are not lawyers!

But the better news is that he was admitted, starting next school year, at the Pritzker School of Law at the Northwestern University in Chicago to take up Master of Science in Law, though he did not have a basic law degree. How is that possible? The answer according to his prayerful lola Leni is: for man it is impossible, but for God, all things are possible. The question in my ancient mind now is whether he would be allowed to take the bar exam in any country and thereafter to practice there or anywhere, even without a basic law degree.

Words of Appreciation and Thanks

Let me now turn to my second topic, words of appreciation. First, let me thank our two topnotch Boards of Judges, both chaired by respected justices of the highest court of the land, namely, Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio for the scholarship competition and Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe for the dissertation writing contest. Both of them sent regrets at their failure to attend today’s program because both are abroad. Justice Bernabe, an Ateneo alumna, wanted to attend because, according to her, she spent a considerable amount of time reading the rather voluminous dissertations submitted to her as chair of the Dissertation Board of Judges. I also invited CJ Lucas P. Bersamin but he is also out of town. Why are they all out of town? Because the Supreme Court is at recess for one month. We could not reschedule the Award Ceremonies because our scholars from various universities nationwide are taking up their final examinations this month, and today, Saturday, is the least disturbing for them.

Both Justices Carpio and Bernabe invited the members of their Boards of Judges to hold the final round of evaluating the applicants at the Division Conference Rooms of the Supreme Court. These rooms constitute the sacred inner sanctum of the temple of justice in our country where, normally, only justices are allowed entry when Division cases are deliberated upon and decided. No secretaries, clerks or aides dare enter these rooms when the justices perform their rituals and duties. This is indeed a great privilege for our scholars and winners, who even before passing the bar examinations were already allowed entry to the Supreme Court’s inner sanctum.

Along with them, may I public thank the other members of the Scholarships Board of Judges, namely former Education Secretary Edilberto C. de Jesus, who is also a former president of and a retired professor at the Asian Institute of Management, where my dear wife Leni taught together with him for 37 years; he was also president of the Far Eastern University; Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo of the University of San Carlos School of Law, which by the way, produced four of the top 10 in the last bar exam; she is the incumbent president of the Philippine Association of Law Schools, and one of the holders of the Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity; Ms. Elizabeth T. Alba, an executive of the Tan Yan Kee Foundation; and Law Professor Tanya Karina A. Lat, a trustee of the FLP.

On the other hand, the four other members of the Board of Judges for the Dissertation Writing Contest are retired Supreme Court Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, Dean Largo, Companero Solomon M. Hermosura, the indefatigable general counsel of Ayala Corporation, and Companero Joel Emerson J. Gregorio, a consultant of the Asian Development Bank and a trustee of the FLP.

May I also publicly thank our partner and co-sponsor, the Tan Yan Kee Foundation for generously funding our Scholarship Program? The foundation is named after the father of tycoon Lucio C. Tan. His group of companies adopted the TYK Foundation as the main outlet of its corporate social responsibility. From a holistic commitment framework, the TYK Foundation targets education, culture and sports, health and social welfare including environmental concerns, research, and manpower development. We invited Dr. Tan to join us today in handing out the cash gifts for our topnotchers and scholars but he had to leave today for an urgent meeting in Hong Kong. In his stead, we thank TYKF trustees Marixi R. Prieto, retired chair of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Amando Tetangco Jr., retired six-star governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for helping us in handing out the said checks. Gov. Say is rated six stars because he has the distinction of being the only BSP governor to serve for two terms of six years each. Had his charming wife Elma not objected because she wanted him to rest and relax, Gov. Say would have been given another term of six more years, without his asking for it.

I extend equal thanks to another partner, the Ayala Corporation, for generously funding and encouraging the FLP to sponsor the Dissertation Contest. When I advised Ayala Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala of this unique contest to provide content and substance to our advocacy for liberty and prosperity under the rule of law, he immediately agreed to fund the project, as an extra addition to Ayala’s normal budget for philanthropy. Unfortunately, Mr. Zobel is also out of the country today and could not attend. But we are happy and grateful Atty. June Lee Navarro, Ayala Corporation’s Deputy General Counsel and Ayala Land’s general counsel came and assisted us in the distribution of the cash rewards for our dissertation contest winners.

Let me also thank the Ateneo de Manila Professional Schools for allowing us to use their facilities, especially the Ateneo Auditorium where we are holding these Awarding Ceremonies. Ateneo has always been kind in opening its facilities to us for our education projects. May I say a special “thank you” to Law Dean Jose Maria G. Hofilena for his Opening Remarks? Incidentally, he is the latest addition to our list of professorial chair holders.

My deep appreciation also goes to the Philippine Daily Inquirer for the full-color, whole back page advertisement that came out today, compliments of its president, Sandy Prieto-Romualdez. The ordinary cost of that back page full color ad is P330,000 plus 12 percent VAT or a total of almost P400,000. Maraming salamat po also to the Philippine Star, through its president, Miguel G. Belmonte, for running also for free the same ad on page 15 of the May 15 issue of that paper.

Furthermore, I say my sincere appreciation to the Honorable Raul C. Pangalangan, a judge of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands for his message. When I learned yesterday that he was in town, I earnestly asked him to deliver a special message today, to which he gamely agreed. Incidentally, Judge Pangalangan’s family is a major member of the larger FLP community because his wife, UP Law Professor Elizabeth Aguiling-Pangalangan, is one of the 15 esteemed holders of the Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity, and their son Raphael was the first place winner in our Dissertation Writing Contest last year.

I cannot end my thanks without mentioning the wonderful, melodious songs of the Friends from the UP College of Music, particularly for their acapella rendition of “Primus Inter Pares,” one of 18 original songs composed by internationally-acclaimed maestro, Ryan Cayabyab, who was recently-proclaimed a national artist of the Philippines. Lyrics for these 18 songs were written by Kristian Jeff Agustin.

Let me give you a little backgrounder on Jeff. To celebrate my 75th birthday seven years ago, my former staff in the Supreme Court met to stage a concert by the Manila Symphony Orchestra featuring the favorite love songs of my wife and me. After the meeting was over, Jeff, who was one of the clerks working in my chamber when I was the incumbent Chief Justice, half-embarrassingly handed to Atty. Jean Manalili, my former chief of staff, several sheets of paper where he wrote my life story in shining poetry. To cut the long story short, these sheets of paper were submitted to Maestro Ryan who found them worthy to be turned into a unique musical depicting my life story. The musical, titled Ageless Passion, was staged at the Meralco Theater in Pasig City in 2011 to celebrate my 75th birthday. At that time, the musical had only seven original compositions. In thanksgiving, I organized the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity during the same year. It was restaged in 2016 at the Maybank Performing Arts Center in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, and this time to mark my 80th birthday. Maestro Ryan and Jeff added another 11 original compositions to make a complete musical of 18 original compositions. Both shows were televised for two hours over GMA NewsTV Channel 11. Notably, the musical was presented by a full complement of professional actors, singers and dancers accompanied by the 60-piece Manila Symphony Orchestra. So, I am amazed and grateful that the Friends from the UP College of Music were able to sing “Primus Inter Pares” acapella, without instrumental accompaniment. Thank you again Friends from the UP College of Music. Incidentally, our only son, Archie, graduated from the UP College of Music, Summa Cum Laude, and proceeded to take up further music studies in Munich, Germany. However, he took another masteral degree in engineering economic system at Stanford University and followed it up with a PhD also on engineering economic systems also at Stanford. Now, he is Executive Director at J.P. Morgan in NYC. Banking is his profession but music is his passion. He is probably following the footsteps of Gov. Tetangco, except that he is still a bachelor!

By the way, I wish to reiterate that Jeff Agustin, the lyrics composer, was just one of the ordinary clerks, not a legal assistant, in the Supreme Court. I did not know that he was such a talented artist. After writing the words of “Ageless Passion,” he got a scholarship from the University of Westminster in London, where he finished his Master in Visual Arts in 2012. Currently, he is finishing his PhD with dual specializations in Communication and Media from the Hong Kong Baptist University, and in Art and Design from the Manchester School of Art in Great Britain. In the country on summer break from his schooling, Jeff is with us today. May I ask him to stand up and be recognized like the other FLP scholars and winners, for he too is a scholar and winner par excellence?

Ladies and gentlemen, permit me to also cite our two emcees, Jose Angelo Tiglao and Mikael Gabrielle Ilao, both FLP scholars, for gamely and smoothly steering today’s program. Gabby correctly recalled that last year, Sean James was the emcee. Will she follow his footsteps and be numero uno in her bar exam?

Words of Explanation from FLP

My third and last topic consists of a short explanation. In ordinary parlance, this is the commercial break for our sponsor, the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity.

My friends, all our scholars and dissertation winners were chosen based on strict merit, on their academic excellence, leadership qualities and ability and willingness to internalize and espouse the philosophy of liberty and prosperity under the rule of law. Only in case of a tie was the candidates’ social status or financial plight considered, with the less-privileged candidates preferred. The main objective of the contests is to augment existing literature on the FLP’s core philosophy of liberty and prosperity under the rule of law.

For this reason, all the honorees are expected to be models, now and later in their professional careers, of the FLP’s advocacy that we all need both justice and jobs, freedom and food, ethics and economics, peace and development, liberty and prosperity; that these twin beacons must always go together for one is useless without the other; and that the best way to conquer poverty, to create wealth and to share prosperity is to unleash the entrepreneurial genius of our people by granting them the freedom and the tools to help themselves and society. I ask them to make a solemn vow to carry on these advocacies during their lifetime, even after I have gone from this world and passed to the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and God.

To help them continue these advocacies, FLP is organizing new programs, including the formation of an FLP Scholars Society to keep alive and burning their enduring bond of friendship and lifetime vow of continuing our advocacies.

After that announcement, that commercial from the sponsor, let me finally hail all of you ladies and gentlemen for attending today’s ceremonies and for your enthusiastic claps and cheers.

To show our appreciation, I invite all of you to a simple merienda at the lobby outside this auditorium. Let us break bread and continue toasting, cheering and congratulating our honorees, even as we wish our fourth year scholars and winners good luck during their graduation and forthcoming bar exams. Mabuhay!