4th Annual Report

(January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014)

            Formally organized and incorporated on October 27, 2011, the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity will celebrate its third anniversary this year. Led by its Board of Trustees—namely 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—the FLP has already gained the admiration of its stakeholders within such a short period of time.

 

New Batch of Officers

The FLP continues to serve its purpose with a new batch of officers, namely Artemio V. Panganiban (Chairman of the Board), Evelyn T. Dumdum (President), Rebecca G. Felix (Treasurer), and Joel Emerson J. Gregorio (Corporate Secretary). In addition, the chairs of the various standing committees remain—Artemio V. Panganiban (Executive Committee), Washington Z. Sycip (Finance Committee), Hilario G. Davide Jr. (Governance Committee), and Edilberto C. De Jesus (Education Committee).

The position of Executive Vice President, formerly held by Evelyn T. Dumdum, is now vacant. Two former members of the Executive Committee—Maria Elena P. Yaptangco and Elenita C. Panganiban—cordially left their posts during the Annual Membership and Organizational Meeting on July 15, 2013.

The 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).

 

Goals 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. Thus, the first two years since its incorporation saw the FLP realizing its first projects and activities: (1) 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.

The Foundation has yet to realize its other proposed projects and activities, such as: (1) curricula on liberty and prosperity under the rule of law; (2) legal assistance, legal research and legal aid; (3) educational scholarships and fellowships; and (5) a Center for Liberty and Prosperity. The Board of Trustees and Officers are hopeful that the year 2014 is ripe for a Center for Liberty and Prosperity, which would enable the FLP secretariat to implement and accomplish more projects.

 

Professorial Chairs Project

The Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity is being implemented for two years now, following its launch on September 18, 2012 at the Metrobank Auditorium, Makati City. This flagship project started the implementation of the Foundation’s Program of Action. The Metrobank Foundation partnered with the FLP in this endeavor by donating one million pesos (P1,000,000.00) in co-sponsorship of the program.

Nine 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) in recognition of their intellectual output which

advocates the promotion, appreciation, application and protection of liberty and prosperity. The output can be in the form of a traditional lecture, debate, case study or other modern and creative methods of communications, which is accessible to the public. The intellectual outputs from the chair holders will eventually be published in a book and/or in other modes of communications.

One professorial chair holder will come from the Philippine Judicial Academy, preferably its Chancellor. He/She will be expected to deliver a public lecture or other intellectual 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 FLP 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 the academe to research and propagate the philosophy at the academe level (including training of students, professors, lawyers, and judges.) The FLP seeks to address the dearth of scholarly research on the philosophy of “Liberty and Prosperity Under the Rule of Law” by sparking discussions in law schools, and eventually influence their law curricula.

The first batch of recipients include the deans of top nine law schools in the Philippines, plus a tenth chair in the Philippine Judicial Academy. 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, Philippine Judicial Academy); (3) Atty. Andres D. Bautista (Dean, Far Eastern University Institute of Law); (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); (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.

On its second term, a second batch of chair holders were appointed and/or renewed, namely (1) retired Supreme Court Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna (Chancellor, Philippine Judicial Academy); (2) Atty. Sedfrey M. Candelaria (Dean, Ateneo de Manila School of Law); (3) Atty. Joan Sarausos-Largo (Dean, University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance); and (4) Atty. Mikhail Lee L. Maxino (Silliman University College of Law).

Among the second batch of chair holders, Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria delivered his commitment in full. The Ateneo Law School Dean delivered his second public lecture entitled “Comparative Analysis of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain and the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro” on November 29, 2013. Thereafter, he organized an international moot court competition at the Ateneo Justitia Hall from March 4 to 5, 2014.

To summarize, below is a table with the list of first term and second term appointees and their number of outputs already delivered. From ten chair holders on its first term, the professorial chairs program extended to another term (second) with only four chair holders renewed. We are still waiting for the first term appointees to cooperate and comply fully.

Marking the second anniversary of the Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity (September 18, 2014), Deans Joan Sarausos-Largo and Mikhail Lee L. Maxino are expected to hold a back-to-back public lecture on September 11 and 12, 2014, in Cebu City and Dumaguete City, respectively. The FLP awaits their formal topic proposals yet.

 

Other Projects

The Foundation published and distributed its e-newsletter “Liberty & Prosperity Journal” by the second quarter of 2013. These were received in PDF format by FLP’s network of VIPs, stakeholders, and academics via email. The 10 professorial chair holders likewise received copies of the e-newsletter and promised to disseminate them to their respective law schools for the benefit of students and faculty alike.

Apart from the information dissemination efforts of the Foundation by means of e-newsletters and its official website, more projects are underway in the coming months. A World Bank sponsorship of the FLP’s ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and IEC (Information, Education, and Communication) projects will formally be sought by the end of 2014, a co-hosting of the ASEAN Law Association Conference with the Supreme Court of the Philippines is anticipated by February 2015, and a reconvening of the Global Forum on Liberty and Prosperity on October 2016, marking the 10th year of the first one in 2006. These high-profile projects are lined up with the aim of elevating our judicial philosophy to the international arena—to gain traction and support outside Philippines jurisprudence.

  

Strategic Planning Workshop

On May 6, 2014, the FLP held a Strategic Planning Workshop together with the Far Eastern University (FEU) Institute of Law, in its new building in Ayala, Makati (FEU Makati). The workshop primarily aimed to discuss the transfer of the FLP’s headquarters and secretariat to FEU Makati. Joining in the discussions are Atty. Melencio Sta. Maria (new FEU Law dean) and Atty. Sedfrey M. Candelaria (Ateneo Law dean), who both pledged their support.

To facilitate the transfer, FEU Makati will provide a room, furnished with basic office equipment, in its Makati building to serve as the main office of the FLP’s secretariat and admin. The Executive Secretary and/or Executive Director will also come from the FEU Faculty.

The Ateneo Law School reiterated their cooperation and expressed that they can provide assistance in establishing the FLP head office and, soon perhaps, a Center for Liberty and Prosperity.

One of the main points covered during the planning workshop was the FLP’s application to seek tax exemption. The Foundation is making preparations to seek accreditation from the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC), which would eventually allow the FLP to raise more funds, tax free for donors and donee.

New projects were likewise discussed during the workshop, 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). In addition, the funding proposal to the World Bank, to sponsor the expansion of the FLP’s information dissemination projects, was also discussed.

The proposal of creating an independent think tank was also revisited during the planning session. This will entail convening experts in law, policy, and business to perpetuate the aims of the Foundation.

Finally, a creation of a Research Team was also proposed and discussed during the session. This group of professionals and academics—from different sectors of society including law, business and education among others—will generate research outputs and provide inputs regarding the philosophy of “Liberty and Prosperity Under the Rule of Law”.

 

Recent Developments

FLP Chairman, Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, and President, Mrs. Evelyn Toledo-Dumdum, are currently cooperating with the Supreme Court in crafting a new reform program patterned after the Action Program for Judicial Reform (APJR). This endeavor would allow the FLP to closely cooperate with the high court in building its new reform program under the leadership of incumbent Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno, who regard the FLP very highly.

Moreover, Chief Justice Panganiban appeared in several speeches within the past year, generating more attention towards the FLP. Noteworthy are two particular speaking engagements—first at the Grand Alumni Homecoming of the Mapa High School held on February 23, 2014 and, second, at the Luncheon Fellowship of the Philippine Bar Association on March 25, 2014—where Chief Justice Panganiban delivered the first and second parts of his lengthy speech entitled “Safeguard Liberty, Conquer Poverty, Share Prosperity”. These major speeches sought to address and inform the general public as well as the upper echelon of law practitioners, respectively, regarding the retired chief justice’s judicial philosophy.

Coming up is another important speaking engagement by the FLP Chair before the Integrity Summit organized by the business community and led by the Makati Business Club and the European Chamber of Commerce for the business community, which is to be held on September 19, 2014.

 

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, a contribution by retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban. The financial position reached a sum of seven million, six hundred and seventy-five thousand, twenty-one pesos and seventy-eight cents (P7,675,021.78), combining cash on hand and in bank in 2012 after several members’ and friends’ unsolicited contributions. The biggest contribution of five million pesos (P5,000,000.00) was given by Metro Pacific Investments Corporation. In addition, 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 Chairs Program.

FLP’s depository bank is Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). The funds may be withdrawn only by signature of two of its five officers, the Chairman, President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Corporate Secretary.

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. 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. Copyrights of these works were obtained from the government by Atty. Joel Emerson J. Gregorio, FLP Corporate Secretary.

To date, the Foundation has not incurred any salaries and personnel expenses. To help the FLP organize its secretariat, the salary of its former Executive Secretary, Kristian Jeff C. Agustin, was paid by The Baron Travel Corporation. In addition, the Board of Trustees are meeting quarterly pro bono. Regular meetings, including meals and snacks, are hosted by Chief Justice & Mrs. Artemio V. Panganiban at 1203 Acacia, Dasmarinas Village, Makati.