7th Annual Report

 (January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017)

 

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. This year, FLP continues to implement its program on legal education with focus on four (4) key areas of development as stated in its Manual of Operations: “value formation,” “legal and scholarly education,” “information dissemination and philosophy propagation” as well as organizing “fora, events, conferences and the like.” The Foundation has also sponsored and undertaken activities that likewise advance a fifth key area of development: “publications and media dissemination.

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), Tanya Karina A. Lat (Executive Vice-President), Rebecca G. Felix (Treasurer), Joel Emerson J. Gregorio (Corporate Secretary), Martin Angelo L. Esguerra (Executive Director [until June 2017]), and Susana N. Gavino (Executive Director [since August 2017]). In addition, the chairs of the various standing committees are: CJ Artemio V. Panganiban (Executive Committee), Washington Z. Sycip† [until October 7, 2017] (Finance Committee), Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez (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 few 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. By 2017, the Foundation is implementing two education-centered programs to complement its flagship project: the FLP Dissertation Writing Contest and FLP Legal Scholarship Program.

 

Professorial Chairs Program

The “Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity” is being implemented for more than five (5) years now following its launch on 18 September 2012 at the Metrobank Auditorium, Makati City. This flagship project is in partnership with the Metrobank Foundation, which has so far donated a total of One Million Four Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP 1,400,000) in co-sponsorship of the program. The total funds for the project, including FLP’s co-sponsorship fund, amounts to Two Million Eight Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP 2,800,000).

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 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.)

FLP started with the appointment of nine (9) deans of distinguished law schools and the Chancellor of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA)[1]. 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 form as well as other modes of communications under the information, education and communication projects of FLP.

In 2017, the appointment of 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, four new appointments were made: Dean Melencio S. Sta. Maria, Far Eastern University, Dean Gemy Lito L. Festin, Polytechnic University of the Philippines; Professor Elizabeth Aguiling-Pangalangan, University of the Philippines College of Law; and Professor Tanya Karina A. Lat, Ateneo Law School. This brings the number of chair holders to 13.

The table below shows the output of each chair holder:

  DATE CHAIR HOLDER OUTPUT
1 26 September 2017 Dean Melencio Sta. Maria, Far Estern University Institute of Law Human Rights, Politics, International Law and Trade Arrangement and Economic Prosperity: A Reading of the Philippine Situation
2 9 December    2016 Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo, University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance (Cebu City)  

Charting the Patch to a Relevant and Responsive Legal Education in the Philippines: A Draft Law Curriculum for the 21st Century Filipino Lawyer

 

3 26 November 2014 Dean Mikhail Lee. L. Maxino, Silliman University College of Law (Dumaguete City) Right to life, Liberty, Prosperity: A Seamless Trilogy to Prosperity
4 11 September 2014 Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo, University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance (Cebu City)  

ASEAN Integration 2015 and the Imperative for Reforms in the Legal Profession and the Legal Education in the Philippines

 

5 5 March 2014 Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Ateneo de Manila University School of Law The 2014 Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban – Liberty & Prosperity Public International Law Moot Court Competition
6 21 February      2014 Dean Nilo T. Divina, University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law  

The Unpaid Creditor vs The Distressed Debtor: Proposals to Balance their Competing Interests

 

7 7 February 2014 Dean Andres D. Bautista, Far Eastern University Institute of Law Regulating the Practice of Professions by Foreigners
8 29 November 2013 Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Ateneo de Manila University School of Law  

Comparative Analysis of the Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 and Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB)

 

9 3 October 2013 Dean Reynaldo U. Agranzamendez, University of the Cordilleras College of Law (Baguio City) The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA): A Vehicle for Liberty and Prosperity
10 20 August 2013 Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo, University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance (Cebu City)  

LIBRT, The Economic Provisions of the 1987 Constitution be Amended so as to Allow Liberalization of Economic Policies by Congress

University of Santo Tomas Law Debate Team Position Paper on Charter Change

University of San Carlos Law Debate Team Position Paper on Charter Change

 

11 18 April 2013 Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna, Philippine Judicial Academy  

Supreme Court Decisions on the Economic Provisions of the Constitution

 

12 13 March 2013 Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Ateneo de Manila University School of Law  

Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban Liberty and Prosperity Debate (Finals)

The Constitutionality of the Aurora Pacific Eco Zone (APECO), per LIBRT R.A. 9490 (as amended by RA 10083)

APECO Position Paper: Affirmative

APECO Position Paper: Negative

 

13 6 March 2013 Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo, University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance (Cebu City) The Powerful Judiciary and Rule of Law in the Philippines
14 5 November 2012 Dean Jose Manuel I. Diokno, De La Salle University College of Law  

The Philippine Judiciary: Problems and Prospects

 

15 19 September 2012 Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Ateneo de Manila University School of Law Finance and Law: Understanding the Institutional and Functional Role of the International Monetary Fund During Sovereign Debt Crisis Situations

 

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.

FLP will look for the best thesis and/or 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.  The contest is co-sponsored with the Ayala Group and in cooperation with the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS).

The contest is open to third year and fourth year law students as well as those taking up Master of Law.  Only one (1) entry per student is allowed.  Each entry must be a thesis/dissertation or its equivalent 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 it 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.

Up to twenty (20) qualifying entries will be chosen by the FLP Dissertation Contest Committee from all entries submitted.  Thereafter, a short list of up to ten (10) entries will be chosen by the FLP Panel of Judges from the twenty (20) qualifying entries.  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 FLP Panel of Judges will choose the five (5) recipients of the primary awards (first, second and honorary mentions) from the new entries submitted by the ten (10) authors on the short list.  Monetary awards are as follows: PhP300,000 to the first-place winner, PhP 200,000 to the second-place winner, and PhP100,000 each to three (3) honorary mentions. These winners will also receive commemorative plaques.  The twenty (20) qualifying entries chosen by the FLP Dissertation Contest Committee will each receive PhP20,000.

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.

Activities in School Year 2017-2018. The FLP conducted an information campaign regarding the contest in all law schools of the country.  Flyers and posters were sent to the law schools throughout the country through their respective deans for dissemination to the law students to encourage them to submit entries to the dissertation writing contest. FLP officials visited law schools in the National Capital Region and in Cebu and discussed the mechanics/guidelines of the contest. Among these law schools are the University of the Philippines, Ateneo Law School, De La Salle University, Centro Escolar University, Far Eastern University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of San Carlos, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, and San Beda University. Information regarding the contest was posted online on the FLP and some law school websites and through social media – Facebook pages of FLP, PALS, Association of Law School Students of the Philippines, Bar Boys, and law schools. FLP also tapped its scholars in disseminating information regarding the contest to their fellow students.

Deadline for submission of entries was moved twice to allow more students to join the contest and to synchronize the contest timetable with the law schools’ calendar. During the discussion with the law school deans, it was learned that thesis/dissertation writing usually starts in the second semester of the 3rd year level and it is only in the second semester of the 4th year level when students have a full paper ready for presentation.

With the deadline extended to 30 November 2017, a total of 18 entries were received from the following schools:

School No. of Entries
1.     Ateneo Law School 7
2.     Centro Escolar University 1
3.     De La Salle University 1
4.     Far Eastern University Institute of Law 1
5.     Polytechnic University of the Philippines 1
6.     San Beda College – Manila 1
7.     University of Oxford/University of the Philippines 1
8.     University of the Philippines 1
9.     University of San Carlos 4
Total 18

 

The table below shows the list of entries.

Entries to the Dissertation Writing Contest S/Y 2017-2018

NAME TITLE
1. Nicolene S. Arcaina, Ateneo Law School Rules and Rights: Invalidating the BJMP Manual’s Provisions Allowing for Close Confinement
2. Gerime Mae A. Basalo, University   of San Carlos  

An Appellate Mechanism’s Appeal: A Critical Analysis On the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes Convention (ICSID) by the Philippines as Basis for Amendments to Introduce an Appellate Mechanism

 

3. Sabrina Victoria M. Dayao, Ateneo Law School Reframing Suicide: Establishing the Compensability of Suicides Due to Work-Related Psychosocial Disorders
4. Maria Ana Espinosa, San Beda University  

The Plight of Internally Displaced Persons in the Philippines

 

5. Rexlyn Anne M. Evora, Polytechnic University of the Philippines Delivering to the Poor: An Analysis of the Microfinance Policies in Cooperatives in Rural Areas in the Philippines
6. Daniel John A. Fordan, Ateneo de Manila University  

Liberating Information for a Learned Citizenry: Reinvigorating the Fair Use Doctrine as an Integral Component of Copyright Infringement

 

7. Helen May M. Frias, Far Eastern University The Role of Private Justice: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the Promotion and Protection of Liberty and Prosperity Under the Rule of Law
8. April Joy B. Guiang, Ateneo de Manila University  

The Supremacy of Chief Executive Powers in Treaty Withdrawal Under the Philippine Constitutional Framework

 

9. Carlos S. Hernandez Jr., University of the Philippines Defining the Undefinable: Treating Atheism, Agnosticism, and Secular Humanism as Religion for Conscientious Objection and Tax Exemption Purposes
10. Shiela Vae A. Hoylar, University of San Carlos  

Transcending the Intangibility of Philippine Corporations: a Proposal for a Legal Framework Criminalizing Corporate Killings

 

11. Mark Nester T. Mendoza, Ateneo de Manila University Guarding the Guards: Allowing Hearsay Evidence in Administrative Proceedings Against Judges and Justices in Charges of Bribery Under Section 8 (1), Rule 140 of the Rules of Court
12. Janine Faye A. Napoles, Centro Escolar University  

Leadership Quality Reconsideration: Professionalizing Philippine Elective Officials at the National Level Through the Imposition of Academic Qualifications

 

13.  Marcley Augustus D. Natu-El, University of San Carlos Regulating Bitcoin in the Philippines, A Study On Risks and Recommended Legal Solutions: Striking the Balance between Security and Development.
14. Joben Mariz Odulio, Ateneo de Manila University  

Weeding Out the Fake Grassroots: Expanding the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 to Include Online Astroturfing as an Offense

 

15. Raphael Lorenzo A. Pangalangan, University of Oxford/University of the Philippines Bread and Freedom, Rice and Rights: Enforcing Liberty and Prosperity through the Courts of Law
16. Nigel Carmelo Q. Reago, De La Salle University  

Release of Prisoners Pending Appeal from Orders of Discharge Issued by Lower Courts in Habeas Corpus Petitions

 

17. Joren Lex A. Tan, Ateneo de   Manila University The Clouds Above: A Study on the Applicability of the Current Search and Seizure Procedure of the Philippines to Online Computer Data
18. Tess Marie P. Tan, University of San Carlos  

Liberty and Prosperity in the Digital Age: Determining the Proper Treatment of Online Intermediaries in Light of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

A Screening Committee headed by FLP Corporate Secretary, Atty. Joel Gregorio, conducted the initial screening of the 18 entries and determined that 5 entries passed the qualifying round. Another 3 entries were found to have potential and may be considered for a merit award subject to their submission of a revised paper that meets the requirements of the contest.

Authors of qualifying entries, as well as the authors of entries with potential, were advised to submit a new entry (revised/improved entry) by 5 pm, January 26, 2018. The shortlist is shown in the table below:

NAME TITLE
A. Qualifying Entries
1. Rexlyn Anne M. Evora, Polytechnic University of the Philippines Delivering to the Poor: An Analysis of the Microfinance Policies in Cooperatives in Rural Areas in the Philippines
2. Helen May M. Frias, Far Eastern University  

The Role of Private Justice: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the Promotion and Protection of Liberty and Prosperity Under the Rule of Law

 

3. Janine Faye A. Napoles, Centro Escolar University Leadership Quality Reconsideration: Professionalizing Philippine Elective Officials at the National Level Through the Imposition of Academic Qualifications
4. Raphael Lorenzo A. Pangalangan, University of the Philippines/ University of Oxford  

Bread and Freedom, Rice and Rights: Enforcing Liberty and Prosperity through the Courts of Law

 

5. Tess Marie P. Tan, University of San Carlos Liberty and Prosperity in the Digital Age: Determining the Proper Treatment of Online Intermediaries in Light of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
B. With Potential; may be considered for merit award
6. Daniel John A. Fordan, Ateneo de Manila University Liberating Information for a Learned Citizenry: Reinvigorating the Fair Use Doctrine as an Integral Component of Copyright Infringement
7. Joben Mariz Odulio, Ateneo de Manila University  

Weeding Out the Fake Grassroots: Expanding the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 to Include Online Astroturfing as an Offense

 

8. Joren Lex A. Tan, Ateneo de Manila University The Clouds Above: A Study on the Applicability of the Current Search and Seizure Procedure of the Philippines to Online Computer Data

Meanwhile, FLP organized its Board of Judges with Supreme Court Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. (Chairman), and Former Education Secretary Dr. Edilberto De Jesus, PALS President Sedfrey Candelaria, Ateneo Law School Professor Tanya Karina A. Lat, and Ayala Corporation General Counsel Solomon Hermosura as members.

 

FLP 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 ten (10) slots to all law schools that have obtained a passing percentage above the overall passing percentage for the bar exams of the relevant year based on the statistical data from the Supreme Court Office of the Bar Confidant.  No law school shall have more than three (3) awardees in a year.

Applicants must submit an essay written in English with a minimum of two thousand (2,000) words and a maximum of 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 the 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 PhP 80,000 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 provided a total of Six Million Four Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP 6,400,000) for the first two school years of the program.

Activities in School Year 2017 – 2018. The FLP is continuously undertaking activities that will broaden the reach of its programs. As usually done at the start of its program implementation, FLP conducted an information campaign on the FLP legal scholarship program in the 34 law schools of the country that had a percentage of passing higher than the overall percentage of passing for the 2015 bar exams.  FLP produced flyers and posters and sent these to the qualified law schools throughout the country through their respective deans for dissemination to the law students to encourage them to submit applications to the legal scholarship program. Posters were also displayed in the law schools’ bulletin board.

FLP officials visited law schools in the National Capital Region and in Cebu and discussed the mechanics/guidelines of the program. Among these law schools are the University of the Philippines, Ateneo Law School, De La Salle University, Centro Escolar University, Far Eastern University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of San Carlos, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, and San Beda University. Information regarding the contest was posted online on the FLP and some law school websites, and through social media – Facebook pages of FLP, PALS, Association of Law School Students of the Philippines, Bar Boys, law school student councils, and law schools. FLP also tapped its incumbent scholars in disseminating information regarding the scholarship program to their fellow students.

In the meetings with law school deans, FLP officials learned the challenges law students face in applying for FLP scholarship: the requirements of the FLP scholarship program are too high, students are having a hard time getting the grades required in the program, most of their students are working students and this contributes to the difficulty in maintaining high grades.

S/Y 2016-2017 Scholars. The FLP Board of Trustees reviewed the requirements of the Legal Scholarship Program and agreed to change the GPA requirement from 86% or 2 for each semester to 86% or 2 for the entire school year. Based on the revised GPA requirement, five (5) scholars qualified to continue their scholarship for the school year 2017-2018. These scholars are:

School Student GPA for the S/Y 2016-2017
Ateneo de Manila University Borja, Sean James B. 87
Far Eastern University Castillo, Kaycelle Ann M. 87
University of the Philippines Dy, Ervin Fredrick H. 1.8
Polytechnic University of the Philippines Evora, Rexlyn Anne M. 1.8
Ateneo de Manila University Vergara, Vanessa Gloria S. 90

The slots for the six (6) 2016-2017 FLP Scholars who were not able to maintain their scholarship was opened to new applicants.

S/Y 2017-2018 Legal Scholarship Program. For the school year 2017-2018, the legal scholarship guidelines were revised as follows:

2.3  Must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) not lower than 85% or 2.25 for the immediately preceding school year (2017-2018);

2.4  No dropped subject and no grade lower than 75% or 3.0 during his or her stay at the law

The number of awardees was also increased to a maximum of three (3) for each school per year.

Sixteen (16) scholarship openings for the following: 10 scholars for incumbent third-year law students, and six (6) scholars for incumbent fourth-year law students. To allow more students to participate in the contest, the deadline for submission of entries was moved from September 15, 2017 to October 31, 2017.

By end of October 2017, the Foundation received a total of 25 applications. The table below shows the number of applicants for each year level.

 

School

Number of Applicants No. of Applicants Who Met Requirements
3rd Year 4th Year Total 3rd Year 4th Year Total
1 Ateneo Law School 2 1 3 2 1 3
2 De La Salle University 2 2 2 2
3 Far Eastern University Institute of Law 1 1 2 1 1
4 Polytechnic University of the Philippines 2 2 2 2
5 San Beda College-Alabang 1 1 1 1
6 San Beda College-Manila 3 1 4 1 1
7 St. Thomas More School of Law and Business (Tagum City) 1 2 3 1 1
8 University of Cebu 1 1 1 1
9 University of San Carlos (Cebu) 1 1 2 1 1 2
10 University of Sto. Tomas 1 1 2 1 1 2
11 University of the Cordilleras

(Baguio City)

2 2 2 2
12 University of the Philippines 1 1 1 1
  Total 15 10 25 12 7 19

The Board of Judges for the interview and final judging of applicants to the Legal Scholarship Program for S/Y 2017-2018 was organized with Supreme Court Senior Justice Antonio Carpio as Chairman, and Former Secretary of Education Dr. Edilberto C.  De Jesus, PALS President and Ateneo Law School Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Tan Yan Kee representative Ms. Elizabeth T. Alba, and FLP Corporate Secretary Atty. Joel Emerson J. Gregorio as members.

Final evaluation and interview of applicants were scheduled to be held in February 2018.

FLP Newsletter 

FLP has so far released eight (8) e-newsletters. The two most recent issues are Volume IV Issue 1 and Volume V Issue 1.  Volume IV features the Fourth Annual Report as well as the Chairman’s lecture entitled: “ASEAN: Unleashing Entrepreneurial Ingenuity.”  Volume V on the other hand, features the Fifth Annual Report, and 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.”

FLP Website

The Foundation has continued to use a simple, neat and uniform design aesthetic for its website (www.libpros.com) that remains consistent whatever device is being used to view or access it – either desktop, tablet or smartphone.  It features front and center the two (2) new programs being undertaken by the Foundation: the FLP Dissertation Writing Contest and the FLP Legal Scholarship Program.  The guidelines and forms for these programs have also been uploaded and are ready for download by interested participants and the public.  The current composition of the Board of Trustees has also been updated.  We have also provided a special email address for the Secretariat (secretariat@libpros.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 2017

Accreditation with the PCNC and BIR Certification

FLP accreditation with the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC) has been renewed, this time for an extended period of three years (compared to the previous one-year period accreditation) from March 31, 2017 to March 30, 2020.  This was after we submitted the necessary documents to PCNC and the site visit last August 23, 2016.  PCNC thereafter transmitted our application for renewal to the BIR.  FLP has already received the BIR’s Certification also effective for an extended period of three years from July 17, 2017 to April 5, 2020.

18th PCNC Annual Assembly

The Foundation, through its Executive Director, participated in the 18th PCNC Annual Assembly held last June 1, 2017 at the JY Campos Hall, UNILAB Bayanihan Center, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.  As one of the 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.

 

IV. Future Plans and Direction

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 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 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.

Teaching Exemplars on the Rule of Law

The Department of Education (DepEd) has adopted the teaching exemplars on the rule of law developed under the Public Education on the Rule of Law Advancement and Support (PERLAS) Project of the Supreme Court and DepEd. The exemplars integrate concepts of the rule of law into the basic education curriculum to educate and inform the public on the functioning of a society anchored on the justice system and to mold the students into becoming responsible and law-abiding citizens. A total of 112 teachers from 82 public schools nationwide have been trained on the use of these exemplars in 2011.

FLP will collaborate with the Department of Education in revisiting these exemplars and enhance these as may be necessary to keep these relevant to the current situation in the country. FLP plans to assist in the roll-out of these exemplars to all public and private schools in the country.

FLP Museum

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.  At present, based on the 2017 Audited Financial Report presented before and approved by the Board of Trustees, the Foundation’s total assets reached a sum of seventy million six hundred seventy-nine thousand seven hundred twenty-four pesos (Php70,679,724.00) which includes the value of the 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.


[1] 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 (until 2014), Far Eastern University Institute of Law, now Commission on Elections [COMELEC] Chairman); (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, now President of the University of the Philippines System); (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.