ALS Class 1999

After the special mass celebrated by Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., at the St. Thomas More Chapel in honor of ALS Batch 1999, ALAAI President, Atty. Lila Quirino, Asso.c Dean Candelaria, and I formally welcomed the attending members of the batch at the atrium located on the ground floor of the APS Building, namely: Judy Ann Abat-Vera, Mary Grace Agcaoili, Remigio Ancheta, Rodello Buado, Jose Lorenzo Dela Rosa, Ma. Arceli Habaradas, Jose Montenegro, Emmylou Patnugot-Limwan, Shiela Quien, Rabiev Tobias Racho, and Rolando Vergara, Jr.

“Welcome to the members of ALS Class 1999.

“On behalf of the Administration and Staff of the Law School, our warm thanks to everyone here tonight for having taken time out to join is in this small gathering of your batch, leading up to the culmination of the 75th Diamond Jubilee on 06 June 2011.

“We will be doing a profile of each of the sixty (69) batches of the Ateneo Law School, since the first batch that graduated in 1939.

“We hope that you will share with us tonight official and personal highlights of your batch in order to come up with a more personal and warm profile that would be part of the documented history of the Law School.

“The records of the Law School indicate that your batch graduated with a total number of 99. You were actually the last batch under the term of Dean Cynthia Roxas-del Castillo.  You will recall that your class

Valedictorian  –   Dara C. Acusar

Salutatorian    –   Edwin R. Enrile

The Evelio B. Javier Gold Medal for Leadership was awarded to Ms. Ma. Araceli B. Habaradas.

The Dean’s Awards for Best Theses were:

  • Abigail Nerizza D. Co titled “Whose Hand Should Rock the Cradle? Recognizing the Right of the Mother and the Biological Father to Impugn the Marital Presumption of Legitimacy”; and
  • Roel A. Refran titled “Holiday Pay and the Monthly-Paid Employee: Resolving Issues and Prescribing Guidelines”.

“When your batch took the Bar Examinations, you were just great. The Statistical Data issued by the Supreme Court for the 1999 Bar Examinations indicates that the Ateneo Batch achieved a passing percentage of 86.09% (First Timers – 91.09%, Repeaters – 50.0%), compared to San Beda College of Law’s passing percentage of 82.72%, and UP College of Law’s 75.27% (the national passing percentage then was 16.59%).  You will recall that your batch took six (6) places in the Top Ten Places:

#1   –   Edwin R. Enrile

#2    –  Dara C. Acusar

#3    –  Francis Joseph H. Ampil

#4    –   Roel A. Refran

#7    – Lourdes C. Echavez-De Leon

#10  – Grainoil U. Baysa-Pee

“In was only since the 1991 Bar Examinations that the Supreme Court began to officially issue the Statistical Data on Bar Examinations Results, and which have been the guidelines in determining how the introduction of the J.D. Program has affected the Law School’s performance in the Bar Examinations. In the 20-years period since 1991 that the Supreme Court has been issuing the Statistical Data (up to the 2009 Bar Examinations), there were only three years (1997, 1998 and 2009), that Ateneo Law School did not achieve the highest passing percentage.

“In all those 20 years, you may want to know that the average passing percentage of the Ateneo Law School is 87.80%, compared to San Beda’s 82.21% and UP College of Law’s 77.43%.

“The Ateneo Law’s J.D. Program has truly become the gold standard in legal education in this country, and no law school worth its salt would dare call itself within the quality circle of legal education unless it offered the Ateneo-version’s J.D. Program.

“We continue to take pride in each of you has never been in doubt. And we hope that you will share with us tonight highlights of your days in the Law School as well as in the pursuit of your careers. We hope to document all sharings tonight both in video format that will be edited and compiled by the end of the year as well as in the cintra board project of the Ateneo Law Alumni Association.

“More importantly, we wish every one of you to participate in the program of activities that we have set for the year, especially in the celebration of the Blue Mass and the Program to Honor Law Alumni on 06 June 2011, which would be held right here in the Rockwell campus.”

Highlights of the Testimonials That Evening:

Members of ALS Class 1999 who joined the faculty were: Atty. Edwin R. Enrile, Atty. Roel A. Refran, Atty.  Abigail Nerizza D. Co, Atty. Josefina Paz Alicia L. Bautista, and Atty.  Francis Joseph H. Ampil.

Judge Jose Lorenzo R. dela Rosa, a grandson of Justice Loreno Relova, is currently the Presiding Judge of RTC of Laguna, and teaches Criminal Law in the FEU-La Salle J.D./MBA Program.

Highlights of the Sharing/Testimonial That Evening:

Judge dela Rosa said that when he tries to recall the funny moments in Law School, he immediately remembers “Olan Santos”—all the other members of the class present laughed, but no elaboration [a very private joke among the members of ALS Class 1999!]

Instead of funny moments, he said that he would rather remember Law School as the place that trained him well to be a good Catholic lawyer to serve—and that when any lawyer or judge renders justice, he actually serves God.

Atty. Mary Grace C. Agcaoili shared that she has been with UNICEF for the last eleven (11) years, and she has a 7-year old son. She was originally with an earlier batch when she entered the Ateneo Law School, but took a leave of absence during the second semester of first year, with no inclination to come back. But remarkably, it was during that leave that she met Fr. Joaquin Bernas and Prof. Sedfrey M. Candelaria in the Grand Palace in Belgium (they stood out because they were in barong tagalog), and heard them talk as part of the RP peace panel. That was what inspired her to go back to Law School and eventually finish her J.D. Program. She now concentrates on forwarding social policy for women and children, and her work includes evolving judicial system to provide a better impact on women and children’s rights.

Atty. John Michael Alamis shared that he first started his legal career by working with ACCRA Law, then after six years eventually putting up a partnership with other Ateneans of his batch. His most memorable moment at the H.V. dela Costa campus was when somebody was looking for a member of the class “who wore masikip na damit” and was therefore introduced to Roel Refran who continues to this day engaged in body-building.  He mostly does ligitation work, some corporation work, and that he has learned that in legal practice you would have to learn everything in meeting your client’s needs. He kindly recalled the challenges in Dean CLV’s class, and of course the box full of cases in Asso Dean Candelaria’s course in Public International Law.

Atty. Rodello P. Buado recalls that his J.D. Thesis topic was on impeachment, and Atty. Ampy Sta. Maria having remarked “Relevant ba ito?” But he remembers Fr. Bernas being in the panel, and except for one minor questions was silent and after that saying “Okay, passado nay an, bahala ka na sa Bar exams mo.” He thank Fr. B for everything. He shared also that he hoes litigation work nowadays and the work is tough and demanding. He ended with saying that he will always remember the Law School—a lot of joy and sadness—mainly because of the thesis requirement.

Atty. Jonald R. Vergara recalls being the batch representative of ALS Class 1999. He said that the most memorable moment in Law School was of course meeting his future spouse. He shared that he began his legal career in the law office of Judge Cesar Cruz where he stayed for four years, and thereafter started his solo practice. He eventually retired from active law practice realizing that his real love is in business—he is operating saloons and water dispensing outlets—and also managing the family business in Daet, Camarines Norte. His funniest moment in Law School was after the final examinations, his group got all so drunk. But his most memorable moment was the retreat of the seniors in Baguio with Fr. Bernas and Asso. Dean Sedfrey Candelaria—a very good and spiritual moment in his life.

Atty. Jose Carlito M. Montenegro shared that he started his legal career with the Tax Department of the SGV with several batchmates all of whom, except two, eventually left the firm. He eventually set up a law practice with several other Ateneans, but only one has remained with him in the practice—Atty. Romulo Agra. His fondest memory of the Law School was that being with Block B where most of whom came from UP and who felt a bit of an outcast, but there were a couple of La Sallelites who even felt more outcast. He had thought that the block would be chopped up, but it actually survived in tact until fourth year. Law School for him was both “good times, and bad times”, but enjoyed it most mainly because of the friends he had in the batch. He expressed pride in his batch, what with Atty. Edwin Enrile taking the #1 slot in the Bar Examinations—they both coming from Xavier University. He also expressed pride in Judge Jolo dela Rosa.

Atty. Emil Mario Bantog shared that he started his legal career with SGV with Atty. Montenegro and about twenty other batchmates. He stayed with the tax department of the auditing firm until 2004, when with eight other Ateneans he formed a law firm; and now he is on his own practice. He is happily married with classmate Atty. Esther Ma. B. Amular (ALS Class 2003), with Associate Dean Sedfrey Candelaria as one of their ninongs, and they have a 8-month old baby. He confirms that he still goes out with his friends in his batch.

Atty. Emmilou G. Patnugot, shared that of the many members of his batch who started out with SGV, she is still with the firm for nearly 11 years with Atty Jonald Vergara, being in the Transfer Pricing Division. She stated that her batch was the very first batch to start in the Rockwell campus, having so much fun going to the Le Trump and really had fun with the “Titanic scene” on the third floor. She shared that her worse experience was with Dean Judd Roy when he called a friend. She also remembered when Congressman Teddy Locsin was a speaker in the Law School, when he encouraged law student to really study the law well while in Law School because it is the time when the law can be considered in its purest form—so different when the law is bended in actual practice. She ended with a hope that she would see the members of the batch more often.

Atty. Araceli Habarradas shared the various experiences she has had in her legal career, where she started out first with Carpio Villaraza, then went to government, then joint a corporation, and now into private practice. Her most memorable moments in the Law School were the times spent in the Student Council and those spent in the Human Rights Center. She considered the funniest moments in Law School were the mountains of cases assigned in Constitutional Law—funny because there was no way the class could read all of them; except perhaps for Judy Abat who digested them all.  She says that after ten years in various areas of the law, she has come to the realization that she wants to become a mediator with a strong belief on the contribution that mediation would have on our society. She also intends to indulge in her passion for photography. She regrets not having been a student of Fr. Bernas in his classes, and so she did the next best thing of getting him as a thesis adviser—and also to ensure that Fr. Bernas would not become a member of her panel.

Atty. Judy Ann Abat shared that after working in a litigation firm, she joined Philippine National Bank (PNB) where she is supervising the bank’s cases in Mindanao. Her memorable times in the Law School were those when she was with the Student Council and with the Choir. She remembers how she digested all the cases assigned and shared them with her batchmates. She considers the  funniest moment in Law School was when in the class of Atty. Jun Sebastian, Roel Refran with his well built body was reciting on a case on reserve truncal that required giving an example where he said “For example sir, supposing I am Rosa . . . ,” to which Atty. Sebastian reacted with aghastly “Oh my god, sister. . . . .” She closed with saying the Law School was hard and tough, but many batchmates became friends to one another, and helped one another.

When Fr. Bernas was asked to give any sharing, he remarked that the best part of the Law School for him is that he has no part in its administration. He said that he was getting old—“I’ll be 79 in July”–and hopes to retire, but only at age 90, which would beat the record of Justice Lorenzo Relova who retired at the age of 88.

Atty. Araceli Habarradas then texted after the proceedings: “Thank you [Dean Villanueva] for having our batch today. It was a joy to be reminded of Law School and of how much has happened since.”

ALS Class of 1999:

JUDY ANN E C. ABAT WINNIE RUTH J. LACANILAO
DARA C. ACUSAR KRISTINE P. LACSON
RODOLFO ARVIN D. AGBAYANI MERCY GRACE A C. LEE
MARY GRACE C. AGCAOILI DEREK ANTHONY P. LIM
JON MICHAEL P. ALAMIS FREDERICK M. LINSANGAN
FRANCIS JOSEPH H. AMPIL CHRISTOPHER D. LLAMADO
REMIGIO M  A. ANCHETA II LEYTON LORD LOZADA
JEROME JOSEPH B. ARNALDO VICTORIO JR. H. MACASAET
EMIL MARIO T. BANTOG CARLO S. MARASIGAN
OLGA ANN N. BARRERA SHERYL Q. MARTELINO
MAJALLA S. BAUN MA. ANTONINA M. MENDOZA
JOSEFINA P A L. BAUTISTA MARICAR S. MONTANO
GRAINOIL U. BAYSA-PEE JOSE C M. MONTENEGRO
MARIE THERESE T. BERMEJO HERMINIO JR. C. MORELOS
JOSEPH DONATO J. BERNEDO ELVIN HAYES E. NIDEA
ANDRES DAVID M. BOLINAS MARILYN NUVAL
RODELLO P. BUADO TRICIA CLARE A. OCO
RAMIL E. BUGAYONG EMMYLOU G. PATNUGOT
PETER L. CALIMAG SHEILA T. QUIEN
ROBERT GLENN V. CAMPBELL RIZALINA C. QUILIT
CONRAD C. CEJOCO CHRISTINE M P. QUIRINO
EDWARD P. CHICO RABIEV TOBIAS M. RACHO
NENITA C. CHUA ROEL A. REFRAN
DOMINGO, JR. M. CLEMENTE JOSETTE O. RESSURRECCION
ABIGAIL NERIZZA D. CO ROSALYNN S. REYES
ANNA CORINA V. CRUZ LAXMI J. ROSELL
RYAN JAN G. CRUZ CATHERINE RIA B. SALABIT
PORTIA GILDA C. DACANAY MARIA CARIDAD N. SAN JOSE
CHRISTIAN L. DE JESUS SARA LEE D. SAN JOSE
LOURDES C E. DE LEON BUENAVENTURA SG. SANGUYO
JOSE LORENZO R. DELA ROSA GENER C. SANSAET
MAURICIA E. DINOPOL GILBERT V. SANTOS
MA. THERESA B. DIZON ORLANDO M. SANTOS
EDWIN R. ENRILE TEDDY T. SOLIMAN
FREDERICK G. ESCALONA RAOUL U. SONTILLANO
MA. REGINA D. ESMUNDO JOANNA C. SUAREZ
RAUL TITO M A. ESTRELLA JANICE C. TAJAN
CARLOS C. FELICIANO MINERVA A. TAN
NATANYA E. GARCIA JONATHAN O. TEMPORAL
RAFAEL C. GARCIA JEANNE MARIE A. TEODOSIO
JOMAR L. GAZA RICHE L. TIBLANI
MARICHELLE Q. GERARDO CECILIA CARMEN S P. TU
MARIE FLEURDELIZ U. GO PATRICIA KAY L. TYSMANS
MA. R. VICTORIA H. GORDON MA. ISABELLE B. USON
CHRISTINE A Q. GRAPILON ANNA KATRINA S. VALDEZ
TIFFANY MAE G. GUIZA JONALD R. VERGARA
MA. ARACELI B. HABARADAS ROLANDO JR. A. VERGARA
JAMES KEITH C. HEFFRON REDENCIO C. VILLARIVERA
ERWIN S. HERRERA JOANNE P. VINA
MIA CARMELA T. BERNEDO-IMPERIAL RAFAEL B. ZIALCITA
JOSE ABSALOM JR. L. JOCOM