3rd Annual Report

(January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013)

The “Liberty & Prosperity Journal” came out with its maiden issue (September to December 2012), together with two succeeding issues (January to March 2013 and April to June 2013) by the second quarter of 2013. These were distributed as e-copies (in PDF format) to guests who were invited to the musicale “Ageless Passion” (December 20, 2012). Apart from the VIPs who received copies of the e-newsletter via e-mail, all FLP professorial chair holders (law school deans) also received the same and were asked to disseminate it to their respective law schools for the information and benefit of students and faculty alike.
    

Third Public Lecture

On March 6, 2013, Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo of the University of San Carlos, Cebu delivered her first lecture aptly titled “The Powerful Judiciary and the Concept of Rule of Law in the Philippines: Correlations, Consequences and Implications” at the Albert van Gansewinkel Hall, University of San Carlos, Cebu City.

Her lecture was warmly commended by retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban and retired Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. Mr. Aniceto M. Sobrepena, President of the Metrobank Foundation; Mr. Gordon Alan Joseph, President of Cebu Business Club; Mr. Philip Tan, President of Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Mr. Efrain Pelaez, Jr., President of Mactan Chamber of Commerce and Industry also expressed their warm remarks and appreciation. Also in attendance were the President of IBP Cebu City Chapter Atty. Earl Bonachita, the President of the IBP Cebu Chapter Atty. Ferdinand Pepito, USC President Fr. Dionisio Miranda, SVD, and USC Vice President for Academic Affairs Fr. Anthony Salas, SVD, as well as CA Justices and Judges of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu.

A written copy of the lecture as well as a copy of the PowerPoint presentation were submitted to the FLP secretariat by Dean Largo.

 

Fourth Public Lecture 

On 18 April 2013, incumbent Chancellor of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA) and retired Supreme Court Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna fulfilled his first commitment to the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity as a professorial chair holder by delivering his lecture entitled “Supreme Court Decisions on the Economic Provisions of the Constitution“.  He was the fourth to deliver the Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity, and the first and only to deliver outside a law school setting. Apart from retired Chief Justices Hilario G. Davide, Jr. and Artemio V. Panganiban, the event was attended by retired Supreme Court justices, judges, government officials, lawyers, law school deans, professors, and students alike.

Retired SC Justice Bernardo P. Pardo delivered the opening remarks, while Metrobank Foundation President and former Cabinet Secretary Aniceto M. Sobrepeña gave a message of support during the program commencement.

A written output of Chancellor Azcuna’s lecture was submitted to the FLP secretariat as partial fulfilment of his commitment as a chair holder. The same is publicly accessible and downloadable via the FLP website.

 

Fifth Public Lecture 

On his new term as FLP professorial chair holder, Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria of the Ateneo Law School delivered another public lecture on November 29, 2013. Presenting a “Comparative Analysis of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain and the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro”, Dean Candelaria followed-through the earlier public lecture delivered by Dean Reynaldo U. Agranzamendez (University of the Cordilleras), who focused on indigenous peoples’ rights, ancestral domain claims, and their economic implications.

The open forum welcomed insightful comments and additional discussions from FLP Education Committee Chair Dr. Edilberto C. de Jesus (also former Philippine Department of Education Secretary and Deputy Commissioner of the Presidential Office of the Peace Commission) and Ateneo Law Professor Atty. Camilo Miguel M. Montesa (also former head of the Peacemaking and Peacekeeping Group in the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process or OPAPP).

Dean Candelaria submitted to the FLP secretariat his written copy of his lecture, which is publicly accessible online and downloadable via the FLP website.

 

Sixth Public Lecture

A successful lecture was delivered by Dean Reynaldo U. Agranzamendez of the University of the Cordilleras College of Law on October 3, 2013 at the UC Theater, Baguio City. Aside from attracting a number of lawyers, academics and students, his discussion on “The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA): A Vehicle for Liberty & Prosperity” was also witnessed by guests from local government units, NGOs, and indigenous communities, press and media outfits who all gathered and filled the 700-capacity auditorium to standing-room-only, the biggest audience to attend a FLP-sponsored public event since the professorial chairs launching ceremonies held at the Metrobank Auditorium (Metrobank Plaza, Makati City).

His public lecture argued that the essence of Republic Act No. 8371, also known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, was being eroded by the sale of ancestral lands for which a number of Baguio Ibaloi families now hold CALTs (or certificates of ancestral land titles).

Dean Agranzamendez submitted to the FLP secretariat his written lecture, which is publicly accessible online and downloadable via the FLP website.

 

First FLP-sponsored Debate Organized at the Ateneo Law School

On March 13, 2013, Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria fulfilled his second commitment to the Foundation by organizing a debate at the Ateneo School of Law. The purpose of the debate was to thresh out the constitutionality of the  Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (APECO)  by arguing for or against the proposition to amend R.A. 9490 otherwise known as the Aurora Special Economic Zone Act of 2007 (Republic Act No. 10083). Debate teams impressed the diverse audience, and earned accolades from retired Chief Justice Panganiban.

The teams consisted of Block 1-B’s Leo Arman Galang, Christopher Reyes, and Kenneth Varona (affirmative panel); and Block 1-A’s  Abby Castelo (awarded Best Speaker), Ponce Lopez, and Steffi Sales (negative panel). The former argued the unconstitutionality of R.A. 10083, stressing the negative implications on social justice and human rights, while the latter weighed on the difference between implementation issues as questions of fact and enduring questions of law and justiciable controversies. The debate was successfully organized in partnership with the St. Thomas More: Society of Advocates of the Ateneo Law School.

The position papers of both teams were submitted to the FLP in lieu of a lecture by Dean Candelaria. These are publicly accessible via the FLP website.

 

Mid-year Planning by the Executive Committee

On June 24, 2013, the Executive Committee convened to specifically review and assess the Professorial Chairs Program of the FLP. After a longdiscussion, the ExeCom agreed on several actions including (1) the renewal of the term of Dean Candelaria of the Ateneo Law School as chair holder (AY 2013-2014), who fully complied and solely delivered two outputs to date; (2) an extension of the term of Dean Joan Largo of the University of  San Carlos, Cebu until August 20, 2013—when she completes her deliverables in the form of a debate—and her term’s renewal for another year (AY 2013-2014); (3) the extension and renewal of the term of Chancellor Azcuna of the Philippine Judicial Academy until 2014; (4) an extension of the term of Dean Jose Manuel Diokno of De La Salle University until January 2014 to allow him to complete his commitment; and (5) the extension of the terms of the remaining appointees who have not complied yet, but are promising to deliver (Dean Bautista of FEU, Dean Concepcion of UP, Dean Divina of UST, Retired Justice Nachura of Arellano, and Dean Agranzamendez of the University of the Cordilleras).

The ExeCom also planned and discussed other projects including the publication of books that will serve as a published compilation of the various lectures delivered for the Professorial Chairs Program, as well as manuals (in book form) for the Global Forum on Liberty & Prosperity held on October 18-20, 2006), and the FLP newsletters (Liberty & Prosperity Journal). As such, a funding proposal is being drafted for submission to the World Bank. With the World Bank’s financial support, the FLP can eventually expand its information dissemination projects to include printing equipment (e.g. digital press-quality printers and photocopiers) and documentation facilities (e.g., cameras and audio-visual equipment).

The possible creation of an independent Think Tank was also proposed and discussed during the planning. The Executive Committee envisioned a possible Think Tank that will convene experts in law, policy, and business to perpetuate the aims of the Foundation.

These plans of action were all approved by the Board of Trustees, except for the Think Tank creation, which was referred to the Committee on Education for refinement.

 

Financial Position

As of November 30, 2013, the company Treasurer, Mrs. Rebecca G. Felix submitted a financial report showing a total cash in bank and cash on hand of P7,880,707.21 (with a total asset of P7,973,568.73), accounting for the additional contributions from members and friends, as well as from co-sponsor Metrobank Foundation.