Dissertation Writing Contest Winners

Academic Year 2022-2023


1st Place
Clarisse Mae D. Zaplan
Ateneo de Manila University
“NAPAPANAHONG HUSTISYA: Examining the Philippine Climate Change Legal Framework and Establishing the Legal Basis for Climate Change Litigation in the Philippines”
Adviser: Atty. Antonio La Viña




2nd Place
Patrizia Anne R. Garcia
De La Salle Lipa
“Liberty in Creativity and Innovation, Prosperity in Protection Under the Rule of Law”
Adviser: Atty. Marianito L. Dio Jr.




3rd Place
Anton Gabriel A. Leron
University of the Philippines
“Death by a Thousand Cuts: Assessing the Need for Anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) Protections in the Philippines”
Adviser: Dean Salvado T. Carlota




3rd Place
Michelle Anne G. Mendoza
Ateneo de Manila University
“Holding Investors in Investor-States Dispute Settlement Accountable for Human Rights Violations Through the Principle of Contributory Fault”
Adviser: Atty. Maria Luisa Isabel L. Rosales




3rd Place
Erielle Robyn T. Ongchan
Ateneo de Manila University
“Site-blocking Mechanisms to Prevent Copyright Infringement and Digital Piracy: Finding a Balance Between the Right to Freedom of Expression on the Internet and the Right of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to Execute Copyright Enforcement Mechanisms on Websites”
Adviser: Atty. Ricardo Blancaflor


Other Finalists

Steffi Gayle C. Bullecer
Ateneo de Manila University
“Into the New World: An Examination of the Application of Copyright Laws to the Digitization of Archive and Library Collections”

Jude Louis A. Millares
University of San Carlos
“When Realities Collide: Examining the Applicability of Real-World Laws in the Philippines to the Legal Challenges Associated with Virtual and Augmented Reality”

Harold Bryant V. Pasion
Ateneo de Manila University
“Adding Fuel to the Fire: Ambiguities in the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998”

Christian Gio R. Senarlo
Ateneo de Manila University
“Masters of Their Fate: Establishing Legal Standards for Remedial Secession as a Mode of State Creation”

Julianna J. Soberano
Ateneo de Manila University
“Safeguarding the Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous People against Exploitation and Misappropriation through Sui Generis Protection”



Academic Year 2021-2022


1st Place
Patricia Anne Alarios
Ateneo de Manila University
“Walking on Sunshine: Defining the Legal Parameters of Open Data in the Philippines”
Adviser: Atty. Ma. Araceli Habaradas




2nd Place
Breden F. Arcayos
University of San Carlos
“’Balancing Security and Liberty: A Comparative Study on Domestic Anti-Terrorism Law vis-a-vis Human Rights Obligations of States under International Human Rights Law”
Adviser: Atty. Rashid V. Pandi




3rd Place
Nicole Marie P. Carreon
University of San Carlos
“The Code as Law and the Code of Law: The Legal Challenges in Adopting Stablecoins as Securities Under the Securities Regulation Code and Other Laws”
Adviser: Atty. Noel Felongco




3rd Place
Francis Eldon G. Mabutin

University of the Philippines
“’Peace and Prosperity: IHL Compliance and Peacemaking as the Way Forward towards Achieving Lasting Prosperity and Full Realization of Liberty for All”
Adviser: Judge Raul C. Pangalangan




3rd Place
Brian Kelvin V. Pineda

Ateneo de Manila University
“Thy Will Be Done: Addressing the Insufficiency of the Mental Health Act in Relation to the Principle of Universal Legal Capacity under Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to Ensure and Protect the Legal Capacity of Persons with Disabilities, in All Stages of Life”
Adviser: Atty. Francis Tom Temprosa


Other Finalists

George Mariano A. Soriano
University of the Philippines
“Climate Change and the Law of the Sea: Examining the Effects of Climate Change and Sea-level Rise to the 2016 South China Sea PCA Arbitral Award”

Chrisha Ver R. Romano-Weigel
University of San Carlos
“Towards Liberty and Prosperity for the Boat People: Transforming the Law of the Seas to Resolve the Ambiguities of the Duty to Rescue”

Mikko Al Rashid E. Ringia
Ateneo de Manila University
“Curing Dis-Ease: Testing the Legal Prohibition on Torture and Ill-Treatment in Health Contexts and Establishing that Poor Healthcare Conditions is a Violation Thereof”

Edward Dominic E. Emilio
University of San Carlos
“Gifts of Fire from the Prometheus Unbound: A Path to Liberty and Prosperity through the Human Right Against Information Vacuums”

Monica Elijah C. Carlos
Angeles University Foundation
“The Greatest Health is the President’s Wealth: A Comprehensive Study on the Extent, Determination and Dissemination of Presidential Illness and Disability”


Academic Year 2020-2021

1st Place
Lord Jay-em E. Cuntapay
Ateneo de Manila University
“Global Disease Outbreaks: Examining the Legal Basis of Viral Sovereignty and its Implications in International Law”
Adviser: Atty. Evecar Cruz Ferrer

2nd Place
Eunice S. Baliong
University of San Carlos
“Liberty and Prosperity in the Age of Pandemics: Establishing a Legal Framework to Harmonize the Trade-Health Provisions of the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations and the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade”
Adviser: Atty. Rashid V. Pandi

3rd Place (3)
Christianne Noelle B. De Vera
De La Salle University
“How Legitimate are the Expectations? An Evaluation of Chinese Foreign Direct Investments in the Philippines Under the Lens of the Fair and Equitable Treatment Standard”
Adviser: Dr. Rebecca Khan

Trisha Aliya Dulanas
University of San Carlos
“Thoughts on Thought: Balancing Prosperity with Liberty in Response to Brain-Computer Interfaces ((BCIs) Through a Definition of :Freedom of Thought” Under the Human Rights Instruments”
Adviser: Atty. Rashid V. Pandi

Catherine Joy T. Lim
Ateneo de Manila University
“On to the 21st Century: A Closer Look at the Patentability and Scope of Protection of Biotechnological Inventions and their Essentially Derived Products”
Adviser: Atty. Ferdinand Negre

Other Finalists
Sheila Mae T. Cabazares (RMC)
“Jurisprudential Norms Without Precedence”: Upholding Liberty and Prosperity Amid the Obscurity of Laws in the Era of Disinformation Technology”
Adviser: Prosecutor Robert Michael Razon

Jyrus B. Cimatu (UST)
“Ang Batas at ang Balai (The Law and the Home) :Establishing the Right to the City as a Path Towards Liberty and Sustainable Prosperity”
Adviser: Dean Rodel Taton and Atty. Raphael Lorenzo Aguiling Pangalangan

William Christian P. Dela Cruz (FSUU)
“Clinical; Legal Education on the Margins of Mindanao: Safeguarding Liberty, Nurturing Prosperity, Advancing Social Justice”
Adviser: Atty. Glenn Carbon Carampatana

Chelsea Ysabel D.P. Go (FEU)
“That’s Why their Monopoly is So Strong. They’re Full of Secrets! An Analysis on the Use of Patent and Trade Secret Protection by the Pharmaceutical Industry and its Implications on the Right to Health”
Adviser: Atty. Ma. Gladys Vilchez

Kenneth G. Limosnero (DLSU)
“Litigation Trafficking: A Study on the Legality of Litigation Funding that Results into Maintenance, Champerty or Assignment of Bare Right to Litigate to Third-party Litigation Funders Taking into Consideration the Right to Access to Justice as a Means of Protecting Liberty and Nurturing Prosperity under the Rule of Law”
Adviser: Atty. Rosario Olivas-Quinto

Fidel Rico Y. Nini (UP)
“Which is Primary in Jurisdiction?: Revisiting the Judicial Philosophy Behind the Doctrines of Primary Jurisdiction and Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies and the Court Interpretations Thereof”
Adviser: Dean Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan II

Ericka Therese P. Uyguangco (ADMU)
“The Public Works for the Public’s Trust: Establishing a Legal Framework Applying the Public Trust Doctrine in Philippine Environmental Laws”
Adviser: Dean Antonio La Viña

Academic Year 2019-2020

1st Place
Ma. Angela Teresa Sebastian
University of the Philippines
Protecting Liberty and Nurturing Prosperity in the Propertization of Digital Footprint in the Age of Surveillance Capitalism
Adviser: Atty. Gerard Chan

2nd Place
Genica Therese Endaluz
Ateneo de Manila University
“Home Court Advantage: Establishing a Framework for the Responsibility of a State with Respect to Human Rights Violations Committed by its Corporate Nationals Abroad”
Adviser: Ambassador Manuel Antonio Teehankee

3rd Place (3)
Patrick Edward Balisong
Ateneo de Manila University
“Bridging the Accountability Gap Between the Universal Rights Regime and the Regime of Multilateral Development Financing Institutions”
Adviser: Atty. Maria Luisa Isabel Rosales

Angelette Bulacan
Far Eastern University
“Lèse-Majesté by the Sovereign’s Own Instrumentality: The Government’s Violations of the Supreme Law in the Non-enforcement of the Philippine Entitlements in the West Philippine Sea”
Adviser: Atty. Galahad Pe Benito

Carlota Villaroman
San Beda University
“Enforcing Liberty and Prosperity through Tax Reform: Synchronization of Taxation Laws with the Philippine Development Plan as Instrument of Social Justice”
Adviser: Dean Marciano Delson

Other Finalists
Juan Paolo Artiaga (UP)
“Comment against “No Comment”: Balancing Constitutional Liberties and the Role of the Judiciary in Comments on Cases Pending Before the Court”
Adviser: Dean Fides C. Cordero-Tan

Archiebald Capila (SSC-Recoletos Manila)
“Of Transcendental Importance: An Analysis of the Doctrine’s Application vis-à-vis Liberty and Prosperity”
Adviser: Atty. Rodel A. Taton

Patrick Angelo Gutierrez (FEU)
“Judicial Activism or Judicial Restraint: The Justiciability of Unilateral Acts of States in the Context of Duterte’s Declarations Toward the South China Sea Dispute”
Adviser: Ana Patricia Tobias

Daphne Dianne Mendoza (DLSU)
“The Green Generation: Establishing an Environmental Defense Fund through the Contribution of Mining Companies and Other Extractive Industries”
Adviser: Atty. Teresita J. Herbosa

Ronald Kevin Laluz Montellano (FEU)
“Nomad is an Island: A Legal Framework for Nomadic Indigenous People for Cultural Integrity and in Cases of Displacement”
Adviser:  Atty. Pierre Martin Reyes

Robie Quiño (Graduate School of Law, SSC-Recoletos Manila)
“Not of Legal Age but of Legal Mind: Enacting a Law that shall integrate the Principles and Provisions of the UNCRC and Domestic Laws Promoting Child Protection as well as to integrate crime prevention, criminal justice and other rule-of-law aspects into the school curricula at all levels, whether public or private, including in barangay daycare, preschool, basic education and out-of-school youth”
Adviser: Atty. Pelagio Palma, Jr., LLM, MBA

Ma. Luisa Sebastian (ADMU)
“Establishing a Binding and Obligatory Framework for the Protection of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Accordance with the State’s International Law Obligations”
Adviser: Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria

Vladimir Joy Tamargo (FEU)
“Liberty and Prosperity in the Coming Age of the Commercialization and Industrialization of the Moon and Her Riches: The Common Heritage of Humankind”
Adviser: Atty. Anthony Raymond A. Goquingco

Academic Year 2018-2019

1st Place
Josiah David F. Quising
Far Eastern University
“Liberty and Prosperity for Future Generations: Intergenerational Equity as Customary International Law”
Adviser: Atty. Jared Amoroso

2nd Place
Diana Lou L. Boado
Lyceum of the Philippines
“Balancing Liberty and Prosperity in the Market for Big Data: Towards Enforcing the Right to Personal Data Protection”

3rd Place (3)
Charles O. De Belen
San Beda University
“Elevating the Status of the Right to Information through the Writ of Scientia Omnibus”

Beverly T. Lumbera
LUMSA University – Rome
“The liberty to locate and the Threat of Crime: A Critical Discourse and Systematic Review of the Impact of Crime on Property Values”
Adviser:  Matteo Rizolli

Clarissa Mae A. Sawali
Far Eastern University
“A Rights-Based Approach to Environmental Protection: The Balance between Police Power and Livelihood Rights”

Other Finalists
Gwendolyn Ann I. Bañaria (FEU)
“Rise of the Machines As Creators: The Ownership Conundrum of Compute Generated Works”

Jose Angelo A. Blay (DLS-Lipa)
“Post-Conflict Amnesty Practice Under Contemporary Public International Law and Domestic Law”
Adviser:  Aty. Ramel C. Muria and Atty. Krisandra Ann Malaluan-Mandocdoc

Arvin Paolo D. Cortez (ADMU)
“A Critique of Lagman v. Executive Secretary: Analyzing the Justiciability of the President’s Power to Declare Martial Law or to Suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus as Regards its Territorial Scope and to Provide Standards Therefor”

Justin Ian M. Manjares (ADMU)
“There’s Death and There’s Online Death: Exploring Digital Assets as a Legal Concept for the Transmissibility of a Decedent’s (Digital) Assets to His Heirs”

Marlouize E. Villanueva (USC)
“Beyond the Minimum: Justiciability of the Question of the Right to a Living Wage in the Philippines”

Academic Year 2017-2018

1st Place
Raphael Lorenzo A. Pangalangan
Oxford University / University of the Philippines
Enforcing Liberty and Prosperity through the Courts of Law: A Shift in Legal Thought from Juridification to Judicialization

2nd Place
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

Other Finalists
Rexlyn Ann M. Evora (PUP)
“Delivering to the Poor: Microfinance Policies in Cooperatives in Rural Areas in the Philippines as a Means in Promoting Entrepreneurship and Economic Independence”

Helen Mae M. Frias (FEU)
“The Role of Private Justice: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the Promotion and Protection of Liberty and Prosperity Under the Rule of Law”

Janine Faye A. Napoles (CEU)
“Leadership Quality Reconsideration: Strengthening the Vanguards of Liberty and Prosperity through the Impositions of Academic Qualifications on National Elective Officials”

Joben Mariz T. Odulio (ADMU)
“Weeding out the Fake Grassroots: Expanding the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 to include Online Astroturfing as an Offense”


In cooperation with