Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo on Thursday said the judiciary does not only render justice, but it also has its own contributions to the country’s peace and order and economic growth.
“While it is the executive department which is actively involved in maintaining economic security through the programs it undertakes, and the legislative department, in building economic prosperity through the laws it enacts, the Judiciary, passive though it may seem, is equally responsible for the development of the economy through the decisions it renders,” Gesmundo said, in his speech during the virtual annual awards ceremony of the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity.
“By consistently balancing individual rights and freedoms with legitimate government interests, the Judiciary actually provides a stable environment for peace and order and economic growth,” he added.
Gesmundo was guest of honor and speaker last Thursday during the FLP’s virtual annual awards ceremony.
During the ceremony, the FLP, which was founded by retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, awarded 21 scholarships to deserving students under the Legal Scholarship Program. Also awarded were 10 dissertation writing winners and five MBA fellowships.
The country’s top magistrate said “the judicial philosophy espoused by The Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity is an affirmation of the role the Judiciary plays in the country’s development.”
“By safeguarding the rights and freedoms of the individual, the Judiciary allows our country to prosper, and in nurturing economic prosperity, rights will also be securely protected. Indeed, it is a symbiotic relationship, safeguarding rights go hand in hand with nurturing prosperity,” he said.
Gesmundo also emphasized the importance of legal scholarship as he congratulated all the awardees. He said that the work of a lawyer, whether one is a practitioner or a magistrate, “plays a role in influencing the course of future actions.”
“Judicial discourse has the power to not only comfort but also provoke an individual to action, not only to appease but also incite a whole nation,” he added.
Because of this, Gesmundo said that “more than intelligence, character and integrity are equally important.”
The awardees were selected by the FLP Board of Judges. Chief Justice Gesmundo chaired the Legal Scholarship Program Board of Judges; SC Associate Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando led the Dissertation Writing Contest Board of Judges; while former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. chaired the “Esmel” Fellowships Board of Judges.
Acting FLP President retired Supreme Court Justice Angelina Sandoval Gutierrez, who is also the incumbent vice-chairperson of the Judicial Integrity Board, also joined the virtual event.
Based on FLP’s statement, the 10 fourth year scholars are Allan Crisostomo (Far Eastern University), Cecilia Joahna Laza (Saint Louis University), Anton Gabriel Leron (University of the Philippines ),
Mary Therese Maurin (University of Cebu), Louis-Mari Opina (University of Santo Tomas), Daverick Angelito Pacumio (UST), Maria Paula Ramos (University of the Cordilleras), Robert Jhon Salazar (FEU), Erielle Sibayan (UCordilleras) and Shalimar Hillary Taongan (De La Salle University or DLSU Manila).
The 11 third year scholars are Shergina Grace Alicando (UCebu), Laine Marie Bringuelo (DLSU), Frances Mickaella Noreen Chavez (UST), Ian Christian Cosido (UCebu), Almira Bianca De Guzman (DLSU), Patrizia Anne Garcia (DLS-Lipa), Shandrei Allen Guevarra (DLSU), Blessie Ngeteg(UCordilleras), Maria Lovelyn Joyce Quebrar (UP), Dana Mae Tadea (FEU) and Kyle Christian Tutor (UP).
In the dissertation writing contest, the major cash prizes were won by First Prize – Patricia Anne Alarios (Ateneo de Manila University), P320,000; Second Prize – Breden Arcayos (University of San Carlos), P220,000; and three Third Prizes – Brian Pineda (ADMU), Francis Mabutin (UP), Nicole Carreon (USC) at P120,000 each.
Their faculty advisers will also receive cash gifts: for First Prize – professor Ma. Araceli Habarabas, P100,000; Second Prize – professor Rashid Pandi, P75,000; and three Third Prizes – professor Francis Temprosa, Judge Raul Pangalangan and professor Noel Felongco at P50,000 each.
Ten finalists at P20,000 each were Monica Elijah Carlos (Angeles University), Edward Emilio (USC), Mikko Al Rashid Ringia (ADMU), Chrisha Ver Romano-Weigel (USC) and George Mariano Soriano (UP), and the above five major prize winners.