The FLP Awards 21 Law Scholarships and Declares Winners in Dissertation Contest



The Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity awarded recently the winners and finalists of its 2017-2018 Dissertation Writing Contest and 21 scholars under its 2017-2018 Legal Scholarship Program at the Ateneo Professional Schools Auditorium in Rockwell Center, Makati City.

As Guest of Honor and Speaker, Acting Chief Justice Antonio T. Carpio commended all the awardees as “future legal warriors of the Philippines who will defend our national territory and maritime zones, not in the mountains, skies or high seas, but in the courtrooms at The Hague and Hamburg.”

(Full text of his message titled “A Culture of Respect for, and Understanding of, International Law can be downloaded here).

The awards to the dissertation winners and finalists were presented by Retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, Senior Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. (the chairperson of the Board of Judges), and Atty. Solomon M. Hermosura, Managing Director and General Counsel of Ayala Corporation, which donated the cash prizes.

Raphael Lorenzo A. Pangalangan, a graduate student of the Oxford University and the University of the Philippines, was awarded first prize—with a plaque of recognition and P320,000 cash. Tess Marie Tan, a senior law student of the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, received a plaque of recognition and P220,000 cash for placing second.

The two bested four other finalists: Rexlyn Anne M. Evora (Polytechnic University of the Philippines), Helen May M. Frias (Far Eastern University), Janine Faye A. Napoles (Centro Escolar University), and Joben Mariz T. Odulio (Ateneo de Manila University), who each received P20,000 and a certificate of recognition.

In his acceptance speech on behalf of his fellow winners, Pangalangan thanked the Foundation “for the opportunity to let our voices be heard.” He noted that at “a time where political whim has permeated every sphere of human undertaking, …, the Foundation reminds us that merit still counts for something” and that it “is the challenge to … the lawyers and the lawyers to be, to keep it that way.”

(Pangalangan’s acceptance speech titled “Liberty and Prosperity: In Doctrine, In Practice” can be accessed here).

Each of the 21 scholarship recipients for the school year 2017-2018 received certificates of recognition together with P200,000 cash—divided into P100,000 maximum for tuition, P20,000 for books, and P80,000 for monthly stipends.

Retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, Acting Chief Justice Antonio T. Carpio, and Ms. Elizabeth T. Alba of the Tan Yan Kee Foundation, which donated the cash prizes, officiated the awarding of the scholars.

Of the 21 scholarships, ten (10) were awarded to 3rd year law students as follows: Leo Francis Abot (Ateneo de Manila), John Anthony Almerino (University of San Carlos), Arvin Paolo Cortez (Ateneo de Manila), Mikael Gabrielle Ilao (University of the Cordilleras), Kenneth Glenn Manuel (UST), King Anthony Perez (University of Cebu), Josiah David Quising (FEU), Jun Dexter Rojas (PUP), Julienne Therese Salvacion (San Beda – Manila) and Ma. Vida Malaya Villarico (PUP).

Eleven (11) were awarded to 4th year law students, namely: Karina Mae Badua (UST), Sean James Borja (Ateneo de Manila), Kaycelle Ann Castillo (FEU), Ervin Fredrick Dy (UP), Rexlyn Anne Evora (PUP), Katrina Monica Gaw (Ateneo de Manila), Nigel Carmelo Reago (De La Salle University), Jose Angelo Tiglao (De La Salle University), Summerson Macasarte (St. Thomas More), Althea Vergara (University of San Carlos), and Vanessa Gloria Vergara (Ateneo de Manila).

Tiglao delivered his acceptance speech on behalf of his fellow FLP scholars. He said he was honored to be called an FLP scholar “not because of our social status, but because of our scholastic record and our extra-curricular commitments, which together, show our holistic growth as students of the law and future members of the legal profession” and their “resolve, conviction, and firmness to stand” for what they believe in.

He thanked CJ Panganiban “for allowing us to tell our stories and for inspiring us with his own, for his life work has constantly served as a reminder to us that our first duty as a student is to be an excellent one for we have an obligation not to waste this opportunity.”

And that more than just being excellent students, they “must never forget that we have a duty to give back to this country what we have learned through this scholarship program, as members of our society, because now, more than ever, we must serve as beacons of light for those who struggle to escape the dark.”

(Download a PDF copy of his full speech here.)

CJ Panganiban closed the program with his message titled “Hail to the New FLP Scholars and Winners.” He called on all the scholars and winners “to be models, now and later in their professional careers, of the FLP’s advocacy that we all need both justice and jobs, freedom and food, ethics and economics, peace and development, liberty and prosperity; that these twin beacons must always go together for one is useless without the other; and that the best way to conquer poverty, to create wealth and to share prosperity is to unleash the entrepreneurial genius of our people by granting them the freedom and the tools to help themselves and society.” His speech is also accessible via his personal website,

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The FLP Dissertation Contest aims to augment existing literature on the Foundation’s core philosophy of liberty and prosperity under the rule of law. The contest is open to third year and fourth year law students and those taking Master of Laws. The Dissertation Contest is sponsored by FLP with a financial grant from the Ayala Corporation, and co-sponsored by the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS).

On the other hand, the FLP Legal Scholarship Program is merit-based and aims to look for the best and the brightest third and fourth year law students in the schools that obtained a percentage of passing above the overall average percentage of passing in bar exams based on the statistical data from the Supreme Court. It is sponsored by FLP with a financial grant from theTan Yan Kee Foundation (TYKF) and co-sponsored by the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS).

The FLP was founded in 2011 to perpetuate the core judicial philosophy of CJ Panganiban — that jurists and lawyers should safeguard liberty and nurture prosperity under the rule of law. Its Board of Trustees is composed of CJ Panganiban (chairman), Sec. de Jesus, retired Supreme Court Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, Evelyn T. Dumdum, Asian Development Bank Consultant Joel Emerson J. Gregorio, Atty. Jennifer J. Manalili, Prof. Elenita C. Panganiban and Maria Elena P.S. Yaptangco (members).

Ayala is the country’s long standing partner in the pursuit for progress and nation building, developing businesses that transform industries, challenging the status quo, and bringing innovations in the Philippines and abroad that contribute to the nation’s social and economic agenda. For details, please visit

The Tan Yan Kee Foundation is the corporate social responsibility arm of the Lucio Tan Group of Companies. It approaches corporate social responsibility from a holistic commitment framework targeting education; culture and sports; health and social welfare including environmental concerns; research; and manpower development. For details, please visit

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