Welcome Remarks

By: retired Supreme Court Justice ANGELINA SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ

*Delivered during the Awards Ceremony conducted by the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity founded and chaired by Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban in recognition of Legal Scholars, Winners in the Dissertation Writing Contest, and Esmel Fellows held at the Stephen Fuller Hall of the Asian Institute of Management, Makati City, on July 28, 2023.*


Honorable Alexander G. Gesmundo
Chief Justice of the Republic of the Philippines

Honorable Artemio V. Panganiban
Founder and Chairman of the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity

Honorable Amy C. Lazaro Javier
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

Honorable Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe
Former Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and
current Trustee of the Foundation

Honorable Alex Quiroz
Retired Sandiganbayan Justice
Chairperson of Governance Commission for GOCC

Mr. Armando Tetangco, Jr.
Former Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and
Trustee of the Foundation, now Chair of the SM Investments Corporation

The Foundation’s valued sponsors:

The Tan Yan Kee Foundation

The Ayala Corporation

The Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and the
Metro Pacific Investments Foundation

The Board of Judges

The Foundation’s other Trustees:

Secretary Edilberto C. De Jesus
Atty. Joel Emerson J. Gregorio
Madam Marilen P. Yaptangco
Professor Ma. Theresa P. Manalac
Atty. Arvin Paolo D. Cortez and
Mrs. Rebecca Felix
the Foundation’s Treasurer

The Outstanding Awardees


Ladies and Gentlemen,

A pleasant good afternoon for your gracious presence. The Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity salutes you.

On behalf of the Foundation, it is my distinct honor and privilege to welcome you all to this momentous and meaningful event, the recognition by no less than the Honorable Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo of the new batch of scholars of the Foundation’s Legal Scholarship Program, the winners of its Dissertation Writing Contest, and the new Fellows of its ESMEL Program.

Several decades ago or in 2011, after his retirement from the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Panganiban had the vision of promoting his philosophy of safeguarding liberty and nurturing prosperity of the Filipino people. Such vision led to his creation of the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity to implement his philosophy.

The Foundation, in partnership with the Tan Yan Kee Foundation, the Ayala Corporation, the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, and the Metro Pacific Investments Foundation, implemented again this year its Legal Scholarship Program, its Dissertation Writing Contest, and its ESMEL Fellowships.

Under the Legal Scholarship Program, twenty-one (21) scholars were chosen by the Board of Judges who will each receive ₱200,000 to finance their tuition, books, and monthly stipends.

There are five winners in the Dissertation Writing Contest chosen by the Board of Judges. The first placer will receive ₱320,000, the second ₱220,000, and the third three (3) placers will receive ₱120,000 each.

Five graduate students pursuing Master’s Degree in entrepreneurship, sustainability, management, economics and/or business law, considered by the Board of Judges highly qualified, emerged as ESMEL Fellows.

In this regard, Chief Justice Panganiban believes 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 in society. It is the Foundation which aims to hand them such assistance through the ESMEL Scholarship Program.

Our hearty and warm congratulations to the AWARDEES and profound gratitude to the Foundation’s Partners. Your magnanimity is a continuing blessing to the Foundation. Truly, its appreciation for your assistance goes beyond “thank you.”

And of course, thanks endlessly, Chief Justice Panganiban, for initiating these benevolent Projects. Needless to state, you are the essence of compassion and kindness. Indeed, you stand tall as a human being of unique qualities, the most profound of which is your genuine concern for the legal profession, the entrepreneurship, and more important for the less privileged in our society. I must say in the firmament of benevolent men, you are a fixed star.

At this point, may I remind the Awardees that more important to your Awards is your commitment to Chief Justice Panganiban’s philosophy of “Safeguarding the Liberty and Nurturing the Prosperity of the Filipino people.” Thus, the Foundation and its creator will await your words and action when the time comes.

Congratulations again to the Awardees and infinite thanks to the Foundation’s magnanimous partners!

Thanks sincerely too to the Trustees. You are all in one in supporting the Foundation’s novel projects.

Once more, welcome to this Ceremony!