(January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015)

I. Introduction

            Officially established on October 27, 2011, the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity is now on its fourth year of operation. Ably led by its Board of Trustees—namely Chief Justice (CJ) Artemio V. Panganiban, CJ Hilario G. Davide Jr., Washington Z. Sycip, Edilberto C. De Jesus, Elenita C. Panganiban, Maria Theresa P. Mañalac, 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.

 

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 its recently hired Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer, Martin Angelo L. Esguerra. In addition, the chairs of the various standing committees remain—CJ Artemio V. Panganiban (Executive Committee), Washington Z. Sycip (Finance Committee), CJ Hilario G. Davide Jr. (Governance Committee), and Edilberto C. De Jesus (Education Committee).

The first batch of officers was 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 three years since its incorporation, FLP focused on the following 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.

 

Professorial Chairs Program

As the flagship project of the Foundation, the Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity is being implemented for three years now, following its launch on September 18, 2012 at the Metrobank Auditorium, Makati City. The Metrobank Foundation partnered with the FLP in this endeavor and has so far donated a total of One Million Four Hundred Thousand Pesos (P1,400,000.00) in co-sponsorship of the program.

FLP started with the appointment of nine (9) deans of distinguished law schools and the Chancellor of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA). The Foundation wanted to encourage 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). 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 and/or in other modes of communications under the information, education and communication projects of FLP.

The first batch of recipients include the following deans of the top nine (9) law schools in the Philippines, plus a tenth chair in the Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA). 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, 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.

Two (2) chair holders were renewed, namely (1) Atty. Sedfrey M. Candelaria (Dean, Ateneo de Manila School of Law); and (2) Atty. Joan Sarausos-Largo (Dean, University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance). In addition to the roster of distinguished lecturers, we have recently included Atty. Melencio S. Sta. Maria, Dean of the Far Eastern University – Makati.

Notably, 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.

Marking the second anniversary of the Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity (September 18, 2014), Deans Joan Sarausos-Largo and Mikhail Lee L. Maxino delivered their public lectures in September and November 2014, in Cebu City and Dumaguete City, respectively.

In summary, the table below shows the output of each chair holder as well as recent updates, including future deliverables:

 

CHAIR HOLDER OUTPUT STIPEND RECEIVED Updates
1 Reynaldo Agranzamendez (Cordilleras)

 

1 lecture (October 2013)

 

PhP 100,000

 

1 lecture pending

 

2 J. Adolfo Azcuna (PhilJA)

 

1 lecture (April 2013)

 

PhP 100,000

 

1 lecture pending

 

3 Andres Bautista (FEU)

 

1 lecture (February 2014)

 

PhP 100,000

 

Will deliver 1 lecture

 

4 Sedfrey Candelaria (Ateneo)

 

2 lectures, 2 debates (September 2012, March & Nov 2013, March 2014)

 

PhP 400,000

 

Fully complied, eligible for 3rd batch of appointments

 

5 Danilo Concepcion (UP)

 

NONE

 

0

 

Will deliver a lecture on the integration of the practice of law within ASEAN by October 2015

 

6 Manuel Diokno (La Salle)

 

1 lecture
(November 2012)
PhP 100,000

 

Will deliver 1 lecture with focus on economic rights

 

7 Nilo Divina (UST)

 

1 lecture (February 2014)

 

PhP 100,000

 

1 lecture pending

 

8 Joan Sarausos-Largo
(San Carlos Cebu)
2 lectures, 1 debate
(March & August 2013, September 2014)
PhP 300,000

 

1 pending lecture

 

9 Melencio S. Sta. Maria (FEU Makati)

 

NONE

 

0

 

Will deliver 1 output

 

10 Mikhail Lee L. Maxino (Siliman University)

 

1 lecture (November 2014)

 

PhP100,000

 

 

FLP Newsletter 

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 ten 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. FLP has so far released six (6) e-newsletters with the two most recent issues (Volume II Issue 4 and Volume III Issue 1) completed in time for the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC) visit last March 16, 2015. Fifty (50) copies of the last two issues were likewise printed for limited distribution. The Foundation plans to source funds from the World Bank for the mass printing and distribution of these newsletters.

 

FLP Website

            The Foundation’s website has undergone some changes, most notably its new landing page. Visitors to the site www.libpros.com will now arrive at the “about” page that has been redesigned to feature the two most recent article and/or activity of the foundation as well as an active slide showing notable events and activities. This gives the website a more dynamic feel as compared to the previous layout. Updates with regard to the FLP Officers were also included. New articles, activities and events are continuously being updated. The Secretariat will continue to work with the site’s administrator, Mr. Kristian Jeff C. Agustin, in order to further improve it.

 

 

III.    Recent Developments in 2015

FLP Secretariat and Acquisition of PCCI Property

In order to expedite ongoing projects as well as implement future programs, the Foundation has begun its planned establishment of an FLP Secretariat. FLP started by hiring a chief operating officer to run the day-to-day operations of the secretariat. However, in order to hire additional support staff and meet its operational and administrative expenses, the Foundation needs a steady stream of funds. For this purpose, the Foundation—through the Chairman—has requested contributions from several generous donors[1] for the purchase of a 709 sq. m. property located at the PCCI Corporate Center in Makati. A small portion of the said property shall serve as the FLP Secretariat’s headquarters, while the rest shall be leased out to provide funds for the FLP Secretariat’s operational expenses. The Foundation was able to purchase the property in December 2015. A Deed of Dale was signed between Lopez Holdings Corporation and FLP on December 23, 2015.

Pursuant to its earlier verbal commitment, the Toyota Motors Philippines Corporation donated one (1) Innova on March 15, 2015 for the use of the Secretariat. This will facilitate the implementation of the various projects of the Foundation, particularly through liaising with partners, donors and stakeholders as well as delivering FLP output to target beneficiaries of its programs/projects.

 

ALA General Assembly and ASEAN Chief Justices Summit

As part of the Foundation’s thrust on information, education and communication programs, FLP recently co-sponsored the ASEAN Law Association (ALA) General Assembly and the ASEAN Chief Justices Summit together with the ALA and the Supreme Court (SC) with financial assistance from PLDT and the San Miguel Group. It was the FLP Chairman who suggested the theme for the event, i.e., “Sharing Prosperity at the Crossroads of ASEAN Integration – the Legal Challenges.” The Foundation also provided technical and financial assistance, particularly with regard to the airfare expenses of the Chief Justices from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos and their respective spouses. FLP Chairman CJ Panganiban also delivered a speech on entrepreneurship and the FLP philosophy during the ALA Delegates’ Luncheon. The ALA General Assembly was held at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel last February 26, 2015 while the ASEAN Chief Justices Summit was in Boracay from March 1 to 2, 2015.

 

Accreditation with the PCNC

On June 9, 2015, the Board of Trustees of PCNC approved the Foundation’s application for accreditation and resolved to endorse the same to the Bureau of Internal Revenue for the issuance of a Certificate of Donee Institution. This came after the site visit by the representatives from PCNC conducted on March 16, 2015. After going over the documents FLP prepared for their review and conducting interviews with members of the BoT and FLP staff as well as the Deans and law students invited to participate during the site visit, PCNC shared their observations and recommendations. Most notable of these were the need to come up with an operations manual, financial management procedures, the establishment of an administrative structure and revised organization structure as well as guidelines for volunteers. As it were, all these have been complied with as FLP now has a Manual of Operations and Financial Management Procedures duly approved by the Board of Trustees.

 

IV. Future Plans and Direction

            With the planned establishment of the FLP Secretariat, the Foundation will also begin to implement the following programs and projects within a three to five year program framework:

 

IEC and ICT Projects

Apart from the information dissemination efforts of the Foundation by means of e-newsletters and its official website mentioned above, FLP will seek World Bank (WB) sponsorship of its ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and IEC (Information, Education, and Communication) projects. Also, the Foundation will spearhead the 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 to elevate FLP’s philosophy to the international arena—to gain traction and support outside the Philippines.

 

Centers for Liberty and Prosperity

On April 13, 2015, FLP met with Dean Melencio S. Sta. Maria of FEU Institute of Law (FEU-IL) to discuss, inter alia, the establishment of the Center for Liberty and Prosperity within the school premises. A space has already been provided for this and it was agreed that a draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) will be transmitted to FEU-IL for consideration of the Board. Dean Sta. Maria, for his part, undertook to take it up with the President of FEU-IL. Meanwhile, a work plan is being prepared by the FLP Secretariat.

As regards the Center for Liberty and Prosperity at the Ateneo Law School in Rockwell, the Ateneo Law School has assured us that a space will be provided for said purpose at the annex building being constructed and the details will be discussed soon after the constructions are finished.

 

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

FLP also had a meeting last April 15, 2015 with the Metrobank Foundation regarding the updates on the FLP Professorial Chairs as well as 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.

 

More Proactive Advocacy Program

As part of its thrust on education and information dissemination, FLP will organize a contest among students (candidates of doctor of jurisprudence) for best thesis/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. This would foster more scholarly studies on FLP’s judicial philosophy, encourage critical thinking and analysis and eventually, a synthesis on the legal theory and judicial philosophy of the Foundation.

 

Student Scholarships

Another program for education, FLP will provide scholarships for deserving law students. The intention is to cultivate the seeds of FLP’s judicial philosophy and thus encourage future lawyers to build their legal careers in promoting liberty and prosperity under the rule of law, becoming catalysts for its development and propagation. FLP met with Mr. Philip Sing, the Head of the Tan Yan Kee Foundation, and discussed partnership in bringing this project to fruition.

 

Basic Education on the Rule of Law Program

The Foundation will organize a program that teaches the rule of law to elementary students. FLP believes that young students represent the next generation of the country, so this will be planting seeds for the future.

In connection with this, the President and the Executive Director met with Mr. Jonas Turingan of Libertas last April 17, 2015 to discuss the continuation of the public education on the rule of law or PERLAS project which the Foundation aims to revive and implement under the auspices of the World Bank with emphasis on poverty alleviation and education. FLP seeks to tap the World Bank and other foreign and local funding sources in order to implement this major program as part of its information, education and communication thrust. Mr. Turingan has committed to submit a concept note for this program.

Together with the More Proactive Advocacy Program and the Student Scholarship program, these three programs represent FLP’s three-pronged education-centered thrusts in propagating, evolving and developing its core philosophy.

 

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 once 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.

 

FLP Museum

Apart from the Centers for Liberty and Prosperity, 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) as initial funds, contributed by retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban. Presently, based on the 2015 Audited Financial Report presented before and approved by the Board of Trustees, the Foundation’s total assets reached a sum of Sixty Million Nine Hundred Eighty-Seven Thousand Three Hundred Ninety-Two Pesos (P60,987,392).

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. Mr. Cayabyab’s professional fees amounting to four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000) were paid for directly by several friends of our Chairman, led by businessman Eduardo Yap. Atty. Joel Emerson J. Gregorio, FLP Corporate Secretary, obtained copyrights of these works from the government.

To date, the Foundation has not incurred any salaries and personnel expenses. The Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Atty. Martin Angelo L. Esguerra, is being given an allowance by The Baron Travel Corporation until the FLP Secretariat can be fully established through the purchase and subsequent leasing out of the PCCI property which shall cover, among others, the salary of the ED and other personnel to be hired. In addition, the Board of Trustees is meeting quarterly pro bono. Regular meetings, including meals and snacks, are generously hosted by Chief Justice & Mrs. Artemio V. Panganiban at 1203 Acacia, Dasmariñas Village, Makati.


[1] Namely: Mr. Ramon Ang, Manila Electric Company, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Metro Pacific Investment Corporation, Lopez Holdings Corporation, Inc. and First Philippine Holdings.