Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo assured the commitment of the judiciary members as partners of the legislators and the executive officials in propelling the country’s economic growth. “While seemingly more passive, the judiciary, through its decisions, is just as responsible as the executive and legislative branches of government for the development of our country,” Gesmundo said. “By striking a consistent balance between individual rights and freedoms and legitimate government interests, we create a stable environment for economic growth,” he stressed. In his message to the new scholars and fellows, and winners of writing contest of the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity (FLP) during the awarding ceremony in Makati City last Friday night, July 28, the Chief Justice also said: “When we nurture sustainable and inclusive growth, we widen the realization of rights and strengthen their protection.” “The Supreme Court and the entire judiciary remain steadfast in our commitment to perform this task as best we can, in accord with our constitutional mandate and our laws,” he stressed. The FLP, a foundation set up in 2011 by retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, honored its 21 new law scholars, five winners of the Dissertation Writing Contest, and five fellows who will take up master’s degree in Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, Management, Economics and Business Law (ESMEL) Program. Gesmundo told the honorees during the awarding ceremony: “We in the judiciary are happy to see that the brightest and most passionate young legal and entrepreneurial minds of our nation are committed to and eager to work towards the common vision that brings us all here: the vision of a country that safeguards the liberty of its people and nurtures their prosperity under the rule of law.” “This vision is premised on an understanding that, contrary to misconceptions, the curtailment of liberty is not the price of prosperity. Instead of being separate or even mutually exclusive goals, they are symbiotic; they are ‘twin beacons,’ as the FLP’s founder retired Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban put it, that we must strive towards,” he said. He also said: “Today he (Panganiban) continues to inspire us and remind us: that justice and jobs, freedom and food, ethics and economics, democracy and development -- all these must go together, for one is useless without the other. The question we are faced with, then, is not a choice of one against the other—but instead of how hard we are willing to work in pursuit of both.” The 21 FLP scholars who will receive P200,000 (P100,000 for tuition, P20,000 for books, and P80,000 for monthly stipends) are Betlee-kyle Barraquias (ADMU), Gerifel  Cerillo (ADDU), Joanna Rizza David (BulSU), Susanna Ruth Gruyal (UP), Mia Jasmin Laza (SLU), Alma Angela Patricio (UST), Aimiel Marian Reyes (ADMU), Allan Cairo  Reyes (UP), Marisse Shaine Salazar (DLSU), Azalea Coleen  Salcedo (JRU), Shergina Grace  Alicando (UCebu), Laine Marie J. Bringuelo (DLSU), Frances Mickaella Noreen Chavez (UST), Ian Christian Cosido (UCebu), Almira Bianca De Guzman (DLSU), Patrizia Anne Garcia (DLSLipa), Shandrei Allen  Guevarra (DLSU), Blessie Ngeteg (UCordilleras), Maria Lovelyn Joyce Quebrar (UP), Dana Mae Tadea (FEU), and Kyle Christian Tutor (UP). The five winners of the writing contest are Clarisse Mae  Zaplan (ADMU), first prize (P320,000); Patrizia Anne  Garcia (DLSLipa), second prize (P220,000); and Anton Gabriel Leron (UP), Michelle Anne Mendoza (ADMU), and Erielle Robyn Ongchan (ADMU), third prizes (P120,000 each). The ESMEL fellows are Ma. Andrea Ali (UP), Mark Anthony Angeles (UP), Dave Angelo Calutan (AIM), Margaret Stefanie Arielle Gecana (UP), and Hannah Jara (AIM). They were awarded a fellowship amounting to a maximum of P450,000 each.

Source: Manila Bulletin (