(January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016)
Officially established on October 27, 2011, the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity is now on its fifth 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. This year, FLP is implementing programs focused on two (2) key areas of development: “legal and scholarly education” and “information dissemination and philosophy propagation.”
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 Martin Angelo L. Esguerra (Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer). In addition, the chairs of the various standing committees are: 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 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 three years since its incorporation, FLP focused on the following activities: (1) FLP’s flagship 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. In 2016, the Foundation launched two new education-centered programs to complement its flagship project: the FLP Dissertation Writing Contest and FLP Legal Scholarship Program.
Professorial Chairs Program
As the flagship project of the Foundation, the Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity is being implemented for four 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). FLP recently included Atty. Melencio S. Sta. Maria, Dean of the Far Eastern University – Makati to the roster of distinguished lecturers.
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.
This year, Dean Sarausos-Largo of USC delivered a lecture on “Charting a Path to a Relevant and Responsive Legal Education in the Philippines: A Draft Law Curriculum for the 21st Century Filipino Lawyer”, proposing a revision of the existing law curriculum and legal training to make it more responsive to the challenges on both liberty and prosperity. The lecture was held on December 9, 2016 in Cebu.
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)
|1 lecture pending
|2||J. Adolfo Azcuna (PhilJA)
|1 lecture (April 2013)
|1 lecture pending
|3||Andres Bautista (FEU)
|1 lecture (February 2014)
|Will deliver 1 lecture on Bar Reforms
|4||Sedfrey Candelaria (Ateneo)
|2 lectures, 2 debates (September 2012, March & Nov 2013, March 2014)
|Fully complied, eligible for 3rd batch of appointments
|5||Danilo Concepcion (UP)
|Will deliver a lecture on the integration of the practice of law within ASEAN framework
|6||Manuel Diokno (La Salle)
|Will deliver 1 lecture with focus on economic rights
|7||Nilo Divina (UST)
|1 lecture (February 2014)
|1 lecture pending
(San Carlos Cebu)
|3 lectures, 1 debate
(March & August 2013, September 2014, December 2016)
|9||Melencio S. Sta. Maria (FEU Makati)
|Will deliver 1 output with constitution and the media and/or economics of scale in marital property relationship as proposed topics
|10||Mikhail Lee L. Maxino (Siliman University)
|1 lecture (November 2014)
FLP Dissertation Writing Contest
The FLP Dissertation Contest is a five-year program which aims to augment the Foundation’s flagship 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.
The contest will be open to all law schools nationwide. Each school may submit a maximum of three (3) entries, with one (1) entry per student. Participants will be junior and senior law students (3rd and 4th year). FLP will look for the 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. An entry must be certified to have gone through the process of a thesis/dissertation or a procedure similar thereto and that 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 Dissertation Contest Committee to assist the Panel of Judges.
The committee shall choose a maximum of twenty (20) entries, which will already receive Twenty Thousand Pesos (PhP 20,000). Thereafter, the Panel of Judges composed of five (5) members shall come up with a shortlist of ten (10) entries from which five (5) winners will be chosen: 1st place will receive Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP 300,000), 2nd place Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP 200,000) and three (3) honorable mentions each receiving One Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP 100,000). The authors on the shortlist will then each submit a new entry, either expanding on their respective original entries or covering a completely new subject.
The Foundation has already announced the Contest Guidelines in its website and the Chairman’s column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. These, together with flyers and posters were also disseminated through the deans of law schools in cooperation with the Philippine Association of Law Schools.
The total estimated cost for the five-year program, including expenses for coordination, stipend for the panel of jurors and other miscellaneous expenses as well as ten percent (10%) to cover inflation, is Twelve Million Two Hundred Ten Thousand Two Hundred Pesos (PhP 12,210,200) broken down in the table below:
|1st Place||1||PhP 300,000||PhP 300,000|
|2nd Place||1||PhP 200,000||PhP 200,000|
|Honorable Mentions||3||PhP 100,000||PhP 300,000|
|Chosen Entries||20||PhP 20,000||PhP 400,000|
|Stipend for Judges||5||PhP 100,000||PhP 500,000|
|Coordination Fees||PhP 300,000||PhP 300,000|
|Total for 1st Year||PhP 2,000,000|
|Total for 2nd Year||PhP 2,200,000|
|Total for 3rd Year||PhP 2,420,000|
|Total for 4th Year||PhP 2,662,000|
|Total for 5th Year||PhP 2,928,200|
|GRAND TOTAL||PhP 12,210,200|
The Ayala Corporation has already agreed to facilitate the provision of funds for this project through its various partners and has committed to FLP the funding for the entire five-year program. They have given Two Million Pesos (PhP 2,000,000) for the first year of the program.
FLP Legal 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 the ten (10) slots to all law schools that have obtained a percentage of passing above the overall percentage of passing for the 2014 bar exams based on the statistical data from the Supreme Court Office of the Bar Confidant. The Foundation will add one more scholar each year for the duration of the program so that eventually, in four years, we will have forty (40) beneficiaries/scholars.
Applicants must submit an essay written in English with a minimum of two thousand (2,000) words and a maximum of three thousand (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 PhP200,000 of which a maximum of PhP100,000 shall be for tuition fee and PhP20,000 for book allowance. The amounts for the tuition fee and the book allowance will be transferred to the account of the student created especially for this purpose and in tranches corresponding to the schedule of payment for tuition fee per semester of the pertinent academic institution. The remaining PhP80,000.00 for stipend shall be deposited monthly throughout the academic year to the same account created for this purpose. Only such amount needed shall be deposited. If the tuition fee component of the monetary scholarship award is in excess of the awardee’s tuition, the balance will be returned to FLP, which will be used for the scholarship program. If the awardee is entitled to another scholarship award, he/she will still receive the cash monetary scholarship award to be provided by the FLP.
The Tan Yan Kee Foundation has initially provided Two Million Pesos (PhP 2,000,000) for the first year of the program. TYK has likewise approved the funding for the second year of implementation of the program and will transmit the funds once FLP secures the required BIR Certification.
The first set of FLP scholars, consisting of eleven (11) third year law students were chosen for the school year 2016-2017.
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 eight (8) e-newsletters with Volume 4 Issue 1 (2015) and Volume V Issue 1 (2016) as the most recent issues.
Volume IV features the FLP Annual Report as well as the Chairman’s lecture titled: “ASEAN: Unleashing Entrepreneurial Ingenuity.” Volume V, on the other hand, contains articles on PCNC’s site visit, FLP’s ongoing programs and projects as well as the Executive Director’s legal article entitled: “Untangling the Dragnet Clause.”
The Foundation’s website (www.libpros.com) has undergone a complete revamp, with major changes in layout as well as scalability. Based on the comments and suggestions of the Chairman, the new website now has a simple, neat and uniform design aesthetic that remains consistent whatever device is being used to view or access it – either desktop, tablet or smartphone. It also features front and center the two (2) new programs being undertaken by the Foundation: the FLP Dissertation Contest and the FLP Scholarship Program. The guidelines and forms for these programs have also been uploaded and are ready for download by interested participants and the general public. We have also provided a special email address for the Secretariat (email@example.com) for coordination and support for these programs. We will continue to work with the site’s administrator, Mr. Kristian Jeff C. Agustin, to further improve and enhance the website.
III. Recent Developments in 2016
Awarding Ceremonies for the FLP Scholarship Program
The Foundation conducted a formal awarding ceremony for the Eleven (11) LibPros Scholars last December 1, 2016 at the new University of the Philippines Campus in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) with Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno as guest of honor. The Chairman of the Foundation gave the closing remarks, thanking our co-sponsor, partners and stakeholders as well as the invited guests in attendance.
The musicale was first staged with seven original songs as part of a concert on December 20, 2011 at the Meralco Theater, during Chief Justice Panganiban’s 75th birthday, where the Chairman publicly announced the nascent beginnings of the Foundation. Five years after, on December 20, 2016 – in celebration of CJ Panganiban’s 80th birthday – the Foundation once again sponsored Ageless Passion held at the new Maybank Performing Arts Theater, in BGC. The musicale featured a full-length 18-song libretto penned by Kristian Jeff Cortez Agustin, a promising lyricist and poet (also FLP’s first Executive Secretary), with original music masterfully composed by no less than the internationally acclaimed Maestro Ryan Cayabyab with an all-star cast accompanied by the Manila Symphony Orchestra. (View or download the 2016 Souvenir Program here)
With the transfer of the Foundation office to the 3rd Floor, PCCI Corporate Center in Makati from 1203 Acacia Street, Dasmariñas Village, Makati, the Foundation has also hired a secretary and a clerk/driver as part of the secretariat. FLP has likewise executed lease contracts with Baron Travel Corporation and Arpan Air Incorporated, receiving a total monthly rental of PhP 303,032.60, which is being used for administrative and operational expenses.
Accreditation with the PCNC
FLP accreditation with the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC) was up for renewal on June 8, 2016. The FLP Secretariat has submitted the necessary documents to PCNC and a site visit was conducted on August 23, 2016. The representatives from PCNC went over the documents FLP prepared for their review and conducted interviews with members of the BoT and FLP staff.
17th PCNC Annual Assembly
The Foundation participated in the 17th PCNC Annual Assembly on May 24, 2016 at the JY Campos Hall, UNILAB Bayanihan Center, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. As one of the 435 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. FLP voted for Ms. Carmen Linda M. Atayde of SM Foundation Inc. and Mr. Augusto P.I. Carpio III of the Aboitiz Foundation Inc. Both won and became the new membes of the board.
IV. Future Plans and Direction
The Foundation plans to implement the following programs and projects within a three to five year program framework:
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 general 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.
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.
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 2016 Audited Financial Report presented before and approved by the Board of Trustees, the Foundation’s total assets reached a sum of Sixty-Seven Million Four Hundred Seventy-Two Thousand Three Hundred Two Pesos (P67,472,302)—which includes the value of the recently purchased 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. 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.