Annual Membership Meeting
5:00 p.m., July 16, 2012
1203 Acacia, Dasmarinas Village, Makati City
The Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity was formally organized as a juridical person when the Securities and Exchange Commission issued its Certificate of Incorporation on October 27, 2011.
Trustees, Officers, Formal Launch and Goals
Its initial Board of Trustees is composed of Artemio V, Panganiban, Elenita C. Panganiban, Hilario G. Davide Jr., Washington Z. Sycip, Edilberto C. De Jesus, Jennifer J. Manalili, Maria Elena P. Yaptangco, Maria Theresa P. Manalac, and Joel Emerson J. Gregorio.
Elected as its first batch of officers were 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. Elected chair of the various standing committees were Artemio V. Panganiban (Executive Committee), Washington Z. Sycip (Finance), Hilario G. Davide Jr. (Governance), and Edilberto C. De Jesus (Education).
Mr. Chief Justice Panganiban formally and publicly launched the Foundation during his 75th Birthday Celebrations, during which an original musicale titled “Ageless Passion” was staged at the Meralco Theater in Pasig City on December 20, 2011, featuring six original musical compositions (plus an overture) of Ryan Cayabyab. During his address, he said FLP aims to perpetuate his core judicial philosophy that jurists and lawyers should not only safeguard the liberty of our people but must also nurture their prosperity under the rule of law. To him, justice and jobs; freedom and food; ethics and economics; democracy and development; nay, liberty and prosperity must always go together; one is useless without the other. The attainment of this dual goal involves an understanding of the intertwining relationship of law and business; and of regulation and entrepreneurship.
Mr. Chief Justice Panganiban 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. The responsibility for promoting and developing the country’s economy rests primarily on its political leaders. Should they fail in this duty, our people can replace them during periodic elections.
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. Thus, 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.
Accordingly, to achieve its goals, the Foundation shall organize, undertake and/or support the following projects and activities: (1) legal assistance, legal research and legal aid; (2) seminars, workshops, trainings, classes, debates, moot courts, oratorical jousts, and other forms of instruction; (3) professorial chairs, educational scholarships and fellowships; (4) curricula on liberty and prosperity under the rule of law; and (5) a Center for Liberty and Prosperity.
At its incorporation, the Foundation was initially funded at two million pesos (P2,000,000.00). Thereafter, several members and friends gave unsolicited contributions amounting to P643,500.00 in 2011. In 2012, contribution came up to P5,040,000.00. Total expenditures amounted to only P35,684.24 as of June 30, 2012, per the attached report of our Treasurer, Professor Elenita C. Panganiban, showing cash on hand and in bank of P7,675,021.78. The biggest contribution of five million pesos (P5,000,000.00) was given by Metro Pacific Investments Corporation. Our Chairman was able to secure a commitment of one million pesos (P1,000.000.00) from the Metrobank Foundation, by way of co-funding the Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chair Program, which I will explain shortly. Also attached is the audited Financial Report as at December 31, 2011.
Please note that the expenditures amount to only P35,684.24 consisting mainly of the printing of our official stationery and taxes. The Foundation has not incurred any salaries and personnel expenses; it depends solely on donated volunteer personnel services. Also, it does not pay any rental in its address at 1203 Acacia, Dasmarinas Village, Makati. All meals and snacks during meetings have been hosted.
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. Jeff Agustin. Mr. Cayabyab’s professional fees amounting to four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000.00) were paid for directly by several friends of our Chairman, led by businessman Eduardo Yap. Our Corporate Secretary, Atty. Joel Emerson J. Gregorio is in charge of obtaining the actual copyrights from the government.
The Foundation’s depository bank is Bank of PI. The funds may be withdrawn only by signature of two of its five officers, the Chairman, President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Corporate Secretary.
To help implement its program of activities, Executive Vice President Evelyn T. Dumdum is at present searching for a full time Executive Secretary and a clerk. These full time employees would be needed to keep track of the Foundation’s program of activities and the documentations needed to obtain the tax-free status of our Foundation.
Program of Action
To start the implementation of its Program of Action, the Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity were created in the top nine law schools in the country, plus a tenth chair in the Philippine Judicial Academy. The deans of five of these law colleges, namely, Sedfrey Candelaria of the Ateneo de Manila, Danilo Concepcion of the University of the Philippines, Nilo Divina of the University of Santo Tomas, Andres Bautista of the Far Eastern University and Jose Manuel Diokno of the De la Salle University accepted the grants during a breakfast meeting hosted by our Chairman. To be tapped later are the San Beda College of Law plus one law school each from Northern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to complete the number to the planned nine.
Essentially, the deans will be the initial holders of the professorial chairs. The holders will receive two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00) per year (one hundred thousand per semester). They will have the responsibility of conducting original research and to deliver the intellectual output (advocating the promotion, appreciation, application and protection of liberty and prosperity) once every semester to all the members of the faculty and entire student body of their respective law schools. The output can be in the form of a traditional lecture, debate, case study or other modern and creative methods of communications. As counter part, the law school will host the lecture or equivalent. The intellectual outputs from the chair holders will be published in a book and/or in other modes of communications.
In the case of the Philippine Judicial Academy, the initial chair holder will be the Chancellor (Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna) who will be expected to deliver the lecture or other output during the pre-judicature seminars/courses of PHILJA for one year, as well as during the annual meetings of the various trial judges associations.
The Professorial Chair Program will be launched in early September at Far Eastern University, hopefully after a new chief justice has been named and who will be invited to grace the launching.
Our other projects for this year include the setting up of a website, the publication of a quarterly (later, monthly) newsletter, publication of books for the proceedings of the Global Forum on Liberty and Prosperity held on October 18-20, 2006 as well as for the various lectures to be delivered during the Professorial Chairs Program, and documentation facilities including cameras and audio-visual equipment. Executive Vice President Dumdum is working these out.
Makati City, July 16, 2012
MARIA ELENA P. YAPTANGCO
President, Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity