To our distinguished guest of honor and inducting officer who i am given the privilege to introduce, the chairman of the Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy, Hon. Noe G. Quinanola and the board members present, ERC Commissioner Marko Fuentes, SEC Chair Emilio Aquino, COA Commissioner Atty. Roland Pondoc, Incoming PICPA National President Ms. Marydith Miguel, Outgoing PICPA National President Mr. Lope Bato Jr., Past PICPA National Presidents in attendance, Members of the Incoming and Outgoing National Board of Directors of PICPA, Past National Directors, Sectoral Organization Presidents, Regional Sectoral Representatives, National Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs, Chapter Presidents, other guests from various government agencies and professional associations, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Good news or bad news; God always knows. This familiar adage sums up the message of “Ageless Passion”, a musical tribute to our Guest Speaker, penned by Kristian Jeff Agustin with original music masterfully composed by the internationally-acclaimed maestro Ryan Cayabyab, a national artist of the Philippines.
Our Guest Speaker was once acclaimed by the Supreme Court of the Philippines in a unanimous resolution dated December 6, 2006 as the “Renaissance Jurist of the 21st Century.” He is now much respected and sought after as a director or adviser by many publicly listed companies, top corporations and philanthropic foundations in the country. Thus, Ageless Passion is premised upon his indefatigable acuity and spirit — not to mention his charisma.
His is a life story replete with successes and defeats, from his humble beginnings as a young newsboy in the streets of post-war Manila to his prevailing eleven-year stint in the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
As of June 1, 2021, our Guest Speaker is an Independent Director of some publicly-listed companies in the Philippines like: Meralco; Petron; PLDT; Metro Pacific Investments; JG Summit; GMA Network and Holdings; and Asian Terminals, Inc.
He is also a Non-Executive Director of Jollibee Foods Corp.; a Senior Adviser of MetroBank; a Member of the Advisory Council of BPI; an Adviser of Double Dragon Properties and MerryMart Consumer Corp; and an Independent Director of some non-listed companies like Metro Pacific Tollways, Tollways Management Corporation, and Asian Hospital, Inc. to name a few.
He is likewise active in civic and educational endeavors as Chairman of the Board of Advisers of the Metrobank Foundation; Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity and of the Philippine Judges Foundation; the Chairman of the Philippine Chapter of ASEAN Law Association; the Chairman Emeritus of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc.; the President of the Manila Cathedral-Basilica Foundation; a Trustee of the Tan Yan Kee Foundation, the Aid to the Church in Need Philippines, Claudio Teehankee Foundation and Speaker Laurel Foundation; and an Adviser of the World Bank; Asian Institute of Management Corporate Governance Center; Johann Strauss Society and Mapa Blue Falcon Honor Society. On August 18, 2017, he was named Chairman of the Philippine National Group in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands.
He has been a recipient of over 250 awards and citations, including several honorary doctoral degrees. Honorary memberships in the Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society, the Consular Corps of the Philippines and the San Beda College of Law Alumni Association have likewise been conferred upon him. The Provincial Government of Cebu named him officially as an “Adopted Son of Cebu,” and the City Government of San Fernando, Pampanga has also adopted him.
During his retirement ceremony on December 6, 2006 held at the Supreme Court Session Hall, the Court unanimously honored him as the “21st Century’s Renaissance Jurist” with a Plaque of Acclamation commending his exemplary devotion to his public duties and commitment to excellence and ethics.
On April 26, 2007, after his retirement, he was conferred an Award of Honor by the Philippine Bar Association, applauding him as a principled and visionary leader by example; a prolific writer of the Supreme Court bar none; a renaissance man and a nobly-souled and gifted jurist; a much sought-after speaker; an eminent lawyer, law professor, Catholic lay worker, civic leader and businessman; a scholar imbued with mental dexterity; and, an exemplary family man.”
Recently, Dr. Raul C. Pangalangan, Judge of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, lauded him that, “As Chief Justice, he distinguished himself in that he strove to have as much unanimity as possible when the Court faced historic cases, painfully conscious that ‘the least dangerous branch’ speaks loudest when it judges wisely and in one voice.”
Our Guest Speaker was also known for his pro-poor opinions notably those concerning workers, the representation of the disadvantaged and marginalized sectors in matters affecting their welfare, and the protection of the accused against unwarranted delays in the prosecution of their cases.
Nonetheless, he has spoken on a wide range of legal controversies concerning diverse subjects, like mathematics, economics, business, accounting, and even canon law. A syllabi of all his decisions and opinion, compiled by Emma C. Matammu, now a Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela City, are contained in one book titled Summa published in 2006.
A much sought-after speaker, he has addressed audiences around the world on various subjects, including five lectures on the biosciences in two international fora held in Chile in 2004. Of his “mental dexterity,” former Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. explains that our Guest Speaker “extricates the possible from the hypothetical, the emerging from the established, the literature in science and the law in art.”
Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court on October 10, 1995, our Guest Speaker had already distinguished himself as a practicing lawyer, law professor, Catholic lay worker, civic leader, and businessman. After three years as an assistant in the law office of his mentor, former Senate President Jovito R. Salonga, he formed his own law firm (The Panganiban, Benitez, Parlade, Africa and Barinaga), which he headed until he joined the Court in 1995. (The law firm was dissolved when he joined the Court.) He also taught law in three schools. Among other positions held, he has been the vice-president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; governor of the Management Association of the Philippines; president of the Philippine Daily Inquirer; and president of the Rotary Club of Manila. He was the only Filipino appointed by now 2Saint Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Council for the Laity for the 1996-2001 term.
While a member of the Supreme Court, our Guest Speaker espoused and exhibited transparency in the conduct of his duties and functions. Thus, he wrote one book a year to report on his magistracy. He had authored the following: Love God Serve Man (1994); Justice and Faith (1997); Battles in the Supreme Court (1998); Leadership by Example (1999); Transparency, Unanimity & Diversity (2000); A Centenary of Justice (2001); Reforming the Judiciary (2002); The Bio Age Dawns on the Judiciary (2003); Leveling the Playing Field (2004); Judicial Renaissance (2005); and Liberty and Prosperity (2006).
In January 2012, five years after his retirement from the judiciary, the Philippine Daily Inquirer published in book form, his collection of columns titled “With Due Respect”. This book ranked 3rd in the Amazon bestseller list for the courts category, outranked only by those of Time Magazine correspondent and CNN Legal Consultant Jeffrey Toobin who got the first place and United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for the second place. In January 2017, the Inquirer launched a second volume of his columns and titled it “With Due Respect 2.”
Our Guest Speaker is an Outstanding Alumnus of Far Eastern University both for his Bachelor of Arts and Law Degrees and a Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa from five Universities. He placed 6th in the 1960 Philippine Bar Examinations with a rating of 89.55.
He is married to Elenita C. Panganiban and blessed with five children, Maria Elena Panganiban-Yaptangco, Jose Artemio C. Panganiban III, Maria Jocelyn Panganiban-Hannett, Maria Theresa Panganiban-Manalac, and Maria Evelyn Panganiban-Reagan.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our Guest Speaker and Inducting Officer, the Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, the Honorable Artemio V. Panganiban Jr.!