FLP receives the PEACE Award from Metrobank Foundation

Metrobank Foundation conferred on the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity the Partner in Empowerment, Advocacy, and Commitment to Excellence (PEACE) Award during its 40th Anniversary Celebration on February 21, 2019. The PEACE Award is a recognition given to a select group of institutions that mirrors the Metrobank Foundation’s commitment to uplifting the lives of the least in society and recognizing the best in society.

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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.

20 Law Students Receive Scholarship Awards

PRESS RELEASE

 

The Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity (FLP) and Tan Yan Kee Foundation (TYKF) are pleased to announce the 20 legal scholarship awardees for the School Year 2018-2019. Each scholar will receive P200,000 divided into P100,000 for tuition, P20,000 for books, and P80,000 for monthly stipends.

Of the 20, 10 are for 3rd year and the other 10 are for 4th year law students as follows: (for third year) Banoar R. Abratique (University of the Cordilleras), Pamela Camille A. Barredo (Far Eastern University-Makati), Angelette C. Bulacan (FEU-Makati), Stephanie Mae B. Domingo (University of the Cordilleras), Maria Carissa C. Guinto (San Beda University-Manila), Patrick Angelo M. Gutierrez (FEU-Makati), Mayumi G. Matsumura (Ateneo de Manila), Juralyn Lilian A. Obra (University of the Cordilleras), Carmella Gaye D. Perez (University of San Carlos), and Edrea Jean V. Ramirez (University of Santo Tomas).

For fourth year: Leo Francis F. Abot (Ateneo de Manila), John Anthony F. Almerino (University of San Carlos), Micah Celine S. Carpio (De La Salle University), Arvin Paolo D. Cortez (Ateneo de Manila), Mikael Gabrielle E. Ilao (University of the Cordilleras), Alimar Mohammad Malabad (San Beda University-Manila), Kenneth Glenn L. Manuel (UST), King Anthony Y. Perez (University of Cebu), Jun Dexter H. Rojas (PUP), and Ma. Vida Malaya M. Villarico (PUP).

The FLP scholars were selected based on their academic merit and their ability to uphold and espouse the FLP’s philosophy of liberty and prosperity under the rule of law. Extra cash prizes are given those who graduate with Latin honors.

Fifteen FLP scholars took the last bar examinations: Karina Mae Badua (UST), Sean James Borja (Ateneo de Manila), Erwin Frederick 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 bar topnotchers among them will get P200,000 for the first place and P100,000 each for the second to the tenth placers.

With a financial grant from the TYKF, the FLP sponsors the program with the assistance of the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS).

Supreme Court Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio headed the Board of Judges which selected the scholars, with the following members: former Education Secretary Edilberto C. de Jesus, TYKF Executive Elizabeth Alba, PALS President and University of San Carlos Law Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo, and Ateneo Law Professor Tanya Karina A. Lat.

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The FLP Legal Scholarship Program is open to all third and fourth year students of law schools that obtained a percentage of passing above the overall average percentage of passing in bar exams based on the statistical data from the Office of the Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court.

To qualify, the grantees must (1) be incumbent 3rd or 4th year students in one of the eligible law schools, (2) be among the top 20 of the batch in their respective schools, (3) have a cumulative average not lower than 85% or 2.25 for the immediately preceding school year, (4) have no dropped subject and no grade lower than 75% or 3.0, and (5) have enrolled and completed the full load for each school year; and submit an essay on the philosophy of liberty and prosperity under the rule of law and how he/she will apply the philosophy in his/her legal career.

The FLP was founded in 2011 to perpetuate the core judicial philosophy of retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban — that jurists and lawyers should safeguard liberty and nurture prosperity under the rule of law. For more information, please visit www.libpros.com.

Its Board of Trustees is composed of retired CJ Panganiban (chairman), Sec. de Jesus, retired Supreme Court Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, Ms. Evelyn T. Dumdum, Asian Development Bank Consultant Joel Emerson J. Gregorio, Prof. Elenita C. Panganiban, Atty. Tanya Karina A. Lat, Rebecca G. Felix, and Ms. Maria Elena P.S. Yaptangco (members).

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.

Its Board of Trustees is composed of Dr. Lucio C. Tan (chairman), Harry C. Tan (vice chairman), 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 (members). For details, please visit www.tanyankee.org.

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Program co-sponsor:

In cooperation with

 

Forums in San Carlos and San Beda

First published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:08 AM October 21, 2018

Last Wednesday, I spoke in two legal forums. The first was at the top-notch School of Law and Governance of the University of San Carlos in Cebu, where I seconded Dean Joan S. Largo’s pivotal lecture on how our economic rights trumpeted by the 1987 Constitution can be enforced by the judiciary.

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Having just returned from a “learning visit on clinical education” in the United States, the young and energetic dean, one of the 13 holders of the “Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity,” began with a contrast of “how the poor, in a country of the rich, grappled with the notion of justice. One thing is certain, the road to justice is paved by the access to justice of the powerless.”

She then compared this situation with another glaring contrast, this time in our country: Despite the repeated invocations by its framers that our 1987 Charter is “pro-poor,” that social justice is the “heart of this Constitution,” and that “[t]alk of people’s freedom and legal equality would be empty as long as they continue to live in destitution and misery,” our economic rights have remained mere grandiose rhetoric to this day.

More than three decades after the Constitution took effect, our people still wallow in grinding poverty. This sad reality is caused in part by the failure of Congress to pass enabling legislation to substantiate and fulfill these benevolent invocations.

The solution lies in urging our Supreme Court to be as “bold and daring” as the highest courts in South Africa, Colombia and Argentina “in enforcing economic rights not only in the laws but also in judicial edicts” like the writ of prosperity.

After all, “[n]owhere can we find a constitution so humane, and a court so powerful than in the Philippines, making a writ of prosperity truly feasible if the Philippine judiciary wants it.”

To claims that the reticence in enforcing economic rights is due to the utter lack of resources, Largo gamely retorted, “Indeed, it is in countries with the scarcest of resources that the writ of prosperity lends itself to greatest relevance and importance… When a court issues the writ… it does no more than prod the elected branches… to comply with the legal standards and mandates embodied in the Constitution.”

Readers may access Largo’s lecture in full at http://www.libpros.com.

On my part as chair of the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity, I asked Dean Largo to seek the help of her colleagues in the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS), which she heads, to use the “rights-conferring declarations” of the Constitution to determine which of the many economic rights can be the subject of judicial enforcement sans legislation.

I also urged her and her PALS colleagues to use the rule of law to unleash the entrepreneurial ingenuity of our people. What our nation needs is a government that affords opportunities for education instead of habitual mendicancy, fosters free competition instead of suffocating regulations, and rewards talent and hard work instead of sycophancy and connection. My talk can be accessed at the same website.

Hosted by the San Beda Law Alumni Association, the second forum was a testimonial dinner for recently promoted Bedans, including Supreme Court Justices Jose C. Reyes Jr. and Ramon Paul L. Hernando, Ombudsman Samuel R. Martires, Sandiganbayan Justices Maryann C. Manalac and Kevin Narce B. Vivero, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Emilio B. Aquino, Deputy Commissioner Arnel S. Guballa of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and several others.

My extemporaneous message was simple: Bedans reached their lofty offices with the expectation that they will outperform the graduates of another university who, in the past, cornered most of these exalted posts. While there may be bad eggs in the San Beda basket, the vast majority are good and selfless.

I challenged them to prove by their deeds, more than by their words, that their immersion in “Ora et Labora” will result in prudent and graft-free governance. And, yes, amid their roars and cheers, I reminded them that their fellow Red Lions and harshest critics, Sen. Leila de Lima and former Sen. Rene A. V. Saguisag, are ready to pounce on their lapses and missteps.

Way to a Happy, Free and Prosperous Society

Remarks delivered by Retired Chief Justice ARTEMIO V. PANGANIBAN in response to the lecture delivered by Joan S. Largo, Dean of the University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance and President of the Philippine Association of Law Schools on October 17, 2018 at the Buttenbruch Hall of the University of San Carlos, Cebu City.

 

Let me begin by saying how amazed I am that just a few days after Dean Joan S. Largo arrived from, to quote her, “a learning visit on clinical education” in the United States, she was ready with a scholarly and authoritative lecture, backed by a PowerPoint, that she just delivered so eloquently before this appreciative audience of the best and brightest legal minds in Cebu.

I thank her and her colleagues in the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS), which she now heads, for their support of my philosophy of liberty and prosperity under the rule of law and of my advocacy for a writ of prosperity. With such display of unity in the academe, I believe, in time, we can successfully craft well-vetted “Rules of the Writ of Prosperity” that we can propose for the promulgation of our Supreme Court.

In her lecture, Dean Largo focused on the constitutional provisions on social justice and human rights which the government, particularly the political branches, have not been able to implement and enforce. She emphasized, and rightly so, on the need to arm the least, the last and the lost: the dirt poor, the marginalized and the powerless with a way to compel our government to uplift their plight. She cited the efforts of the highest courts of other countries, like South Africa, Argentina and Columbia, in using their authority to help alleviate the poor’s angst, pain and suffering.

Simple but profound truth

In my response to Dean Largo, let me also cite other countries to drive to home an analogous point, this time no longer a plea for direct assistance or dole-outs in terms of “conditional transfers” of cash, or cheap rice, or communal housing, or socialized medicine.

Taking off from a speech I delivered before the Asean Law Association a few years ago, let me begin with a famous quotation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “If a man does not have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness.” Let me repeat that, “If a man does not have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness.”

It may seem ironic that I should be citing an American civil rights icon in this august audience of patriotic Filipinos, but like Dean Largo who cited foreign jurisprudence to buttress her cause, I did so not because of Dr. King’s nationality, color, gender or religion. I quoted him because of the truth he said so simply yet so profoundly.

I cited him because precisely of my belief that truth is eternal and limitless; that truth is not bound by sovereignty, or territory, or ideology, or legality; that what is true in America is also true in the Philippines, in Africa, in South America and in the world. And that that truth is this: humans need both justice and jobs; freedom and food; ethics and economics; peace and development; liberty and prosperity; these twin beacons must always go together; one is useless without the other.

Now, even in retirement, I still continue my advocacy for these twin beacons of liberty and prosperity. Thus in 2011, five years after my retirement from the judiciary, when I celebrated my 75th birthday, I organized the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity, which now sponsors several educational programs, namely, 13 professorial chairs in various law schools, 20 full law scholarships at P200,000 each, in which some USC students are recipients, and a dissertation contest, in which a USC student, Tess Marie Tan, won the second place, second only to Raphael Pangalangan, a Filipino graduate student of the University of Oxford in Great Britain, who copped the first place.

To repeat, there are certain truths that transcend sovereignties, territories, ideologies and legalities. And one of those truths is this: 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.

Saving the fisherman    

Let me push my thesis further by quoting a popular adage from Confucius, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Indeed, to save a fisherman from destitution, we must help him learn how to fish more effectively. We must educate him in the skills needed to catch fish more efficiently, assist him in acquiring a boat, allow him the freedom to sail the vast oceans, and teach him the techniques to market the fish he catches.

Sometimes, some of us fear that the fisherman may get lost and die in the storms that batter the seas; or that he may become selfish and would want to own the entire ocean and its vast resources; or that he may become too rich and powerful and metamorphose into a rival, an enemy, or worse, a master. Such fears of possible misjudgments may indeed happen some of the time. Human arrogance, greed and avarice lurk in all undertakings. But they are the exceptions rather than the rule. We must never stop dreaming for fear that reality may shatter our dreams. We must admit that risks and challenges form part of the interesting reality of being human.

On the other hand, I respectfully believe that the goal of governance and of law is to provide guarantees and incentives to help the fisherman prosper, to create the institutions to support him, and to promulgate minimal regulations to prevent him from appropriating all the fishing grounds, from keeping all the earnings to himself and from forgetting his obligation to pay reasonable taxes to the government. Indeed, government must inspire him to share his consequential wealth with the rest of society.

Validating the truth

Let me take you briefly around the world to validate this simple truth. The United States, the most powerful country in the world and the great promoter of liberal democracy, attained affluence because of the pioneers who defied monarchical tyrannies and started a new nation that unleashed the inventive, innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of people like Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan, and lately of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, as well of great government leaders like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Barack Obama who provided them with the encouragement to attain their dreams and the good governance to contain their greed and share their wealth.

Then, let us go to China, the second most powerful economy in the world and the prime promoter of the communist system. True, Mao Zedong led the masses in a revolt that dislodged the corrupt and inefficient government born of an outdated monarchy. But it was Deng Xiaoping who led this nation to unparalleled economic prosperity by unleashing the entrepreneurial ingenuity of the Chinese under his “One-Country-Two-Systems” philosophy.

Finally, let me bring you to Korea. As a result of World War II, this country was divided into North and South, which unfortunately could not accept their division and engaged in a terrible war that ruined their economies and impoverished their people. Rising from the ruins, South Korea relied on the entrepreneurial spirit of the Korean people and built on their private initiative as well as on the notion that innovation, creativity, freedom and hard work would enable them to conquer their poverty, provide for their family’s well-being and attain affluence.

In contrast, North Korea – despite its technological and military bravado – wallows in abject poverty as a result of its tight grip on creativity and inordinate fear of the entrepreneurship, education, freedom and prosperity of its people.

Entrepreneurship in the Philippines

I believe that given the same climate of free enterprise, our people can rise to the challenges of innovation, creativity and ingenuity and free themselves of extreme poverty, disease, malnutrition and disability. All they need is a government that affords opportunities for education instead of habitual mendicancy, fosters free competition instead of suffocating regulations, and rewards talent and hard work instead of sycophancy and connection.

The best proofs of this assertion are our overseas Filipino workers. Our engineers, technicians and house helps are treasured in Europe and the Middle East. Our professionals, doctors and nurses, succeed much better than many natives in the United States, Canada and Australia. In fact, the average Filipino professionals earn more than the average Caucasians in those countries. Moreover, they are law-abiding, they observe strict traffic rules simply because these rules are enforced evenly and fairly.

Yes, I conclude this response to Dean Largo with the firm belief that if our Filipino brethren are accord liberty, prosperity and the rule of law, they will use their entrepreneurial ingenuity to uplift themselves from destitution, disease and disability. Our responsibility – as leaders of the academe and the legal profession – is how we can harness the rule of law to enable them to form and enjoy a happy, free and prosperous society.

Maraming salamat po.