Law scholarships with a difference

First published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:08 AM February 17, 2019

Usually, scholarships are intended for, and given to, students who have little or no financial resources to pursue their studies.

Unique, however, are the full scholarships (P200,000 per year covering tuition, books and monthly stipends) granted by the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity (FLP) and funded by the Tan Yan Kee Foundation (TYKF). They are given on the basis of pure merit; paucity of funds will be considered only in case of equality in excellence.

They are granted to outstanding law students who agree to espouse, promote and fulfill in their professional life as future lawyers the philosophy of liberty and prosperity under the rule of law.

Most lawyers are trained to master and defend political freedoms, like the rights to due process, equal protection, free speech, free assembly to redress grievances, be presumed innocent, etc. This training is, of course, not objectionable per se.

However, the FLP believes that equal attention should be accorded (1) the economic and social freedoms, like the right to be free of hunger and want, to pursue entrepreneurship and innovation, and to conquer poverty through the rule of law; and (2) the corollary responsibility to share prosperity with the needy and to distribute equitably the fruits of labor and capital.

Indeed, freedom and food, justice and jobs, ethics and economics, nay, liberty and prosperity are equally important; one is useless without the other. This philosophy upholds the singular truth that the best way to conquer poverty, to create wealth and to share prosperity is to unleash the entrepreneurial genius of people by granting them the freedom and the tools to help themselves and society.

On their demonstrated merit and commitment to pursue this truth, the law scholars were chosen, after a competitive process and personal interviews, by the FLP board of judges chaired by Justice Antonio T. Carpio, with former education secretary Edilberto C. de Jesus, Philippine Association of Law Schools president Joan S. Largo, TYKF executive Elizabeth T. Alba and Prof. Tanya Karina Lat as members. They are:

Third year students: Banoar Abratique (U of Cordilleras), Pamela Camille Barredo (FEU), Angelette Bulacan (FEU), Stephanie May Domingo (U of Cordilleras), Maria Carissa Guinto (San Beda U), Patrick Angelo Gutierrez (FEU), Mayumi Matsumura (Ateneo de Manila), Juralyn Lilian Obra (U of Cordilleras), Carmella Gaye Perez (U of San Carlos), and Edrea Jean Ramirez (UST).

Fourth year: Leo Francis Abot (Ateneo de Manila), John Anthony Almerino (U of San Carlos), Arvin Paolo Cortez (Ateneo de Manila), Mikael Gabrielle Ilao (U of Cordilleras), Kenneth Glenn Manuel (UST), King Anthony Perez (U of Cebu), Jun Dexter Rojas (PUP), Ma. Vida Malaya Villarico (PUP), Micah Celine Carpio (De La Salle U) and Alimar Mohammad Malabad (San Beda U).

Extra cash prizes are given those who graduate with Latin honors.

Fifteen past FLP scholars took the last bar examinations: Karina Mae Badua (UST), Sean James Borja (Ateneo de Manila), Ervin Fredrick Dy (UP), Rexlyn Anne Evora (PUP), Kevin Ken Ganchero (FEU), Katrina Monica Gaw (Ateneo de Manila), Jose Noel Hilario (UST), Summerson Macasarte (St. Thomas More), Violeta Najarro (San Beda-Alabang), Ma. Janine Pedernal (UST), Nigel Carmelo Reago (De La Salle U), Tess Marie Tan (U of San Carlos), Jose Angelo Tiglao (De La Salle U), Althea Vergara (U of San Carlos) and Vanessa Gloria Vergara (Ateneo de Manila).

The topnotchers among them will receive P200,000 for the first placer and P100,000 each for the second to the tenth placers. The bar results are expected on or about May 3.

The TYKF board of trustees is composed of Dr. Lucio C. Tan (chair), Harry C. Tan (vice chair), Joaquin Bernas, Frank Chan, Shirley Chua, Lawrence Chew, Emil Q. Javier, Artemio V. Panganiban, Marixi R. Prieto, Carmen Tan, Tan Eng Chan, Tan Hui Bin, Mariano Tanenglian, Amando M. Tetangco Jr. and Cesar E. A. Virata.

On the other hand, the FLP board of trustees consists of Panganiban (chair), De Jesus, Evelyn T. Dumdum, Rebecca G. Felix, Joel Emerson J. Gregorio, Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, Elenita C. Panganiban, Tanya Karina Lat and Maria Elena P. S. Yaptangco.