After the special mass held at the St. Thomas More Chapel in honor of ALS Batch 1993, ALAAI President, Atty. Lila Quirino and I formally welcomed the attending members of the batch at the atrium located on the ground floor of the APS Building, namely: Nelson Arquiza, Arlene Bag-Ao, Eileen Rosario Cordero-Batac, Reagan De Guzman, Francisco Gonzalez V, Michelle Flordeliz Lazaro, Ma. Cecilia Katigbak, Ethel Miranda-De Guzman, Raymund Nonato Navarro, Ma. Farah Nicolas-Suchianco, Paul Melvin Robles, Paul Rommel Santiago, Adrian Ferdinand Sugay, Noli Tibayan, Francisco Jose Villa, Jr., Maria Cristina Magdalena F. Villanueva, and Peter Suchianco.
“Welcome to the members of ALS Class 1993.
“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 112. You were actually the last batch in Law School to graduate under the term of Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J. as President of the University. During your first year, the Dean was Dean Eduardo de los Angeles and you eventually graduated under Dean Cynthia del Castillo under the Juris Doctor Program. Your batch represented the third batch of graduates under the J.D. Program.
“You will recall that on your graduation day, the following honors and awards were given:
Valedictorian – Ma. Socorro Z. Manguiat
Salutatorian – Anna Leah Fidelis T. Castañeda
The Evelio B. Javier Gold Medal for Leadership was awarded to Ms. Maria Cristina Magdalena F. Villanueva and Ms. Farah Zorayda G. Nicolas.
Dean’s Award of Best Theses were given to:
- Best Thesis – Ms. Anna Leah Fidelis T. Castañeda
“From Prerogative to Prohibition: Article 2(4) as Customary International Law in Nicaragua v. U.S.”.
- Second Best Thesis – Mr. Cerilo Rico S. Abelardo
“Ancestral Lands Never Formed Part of the Public Domain”; and
- Third Best Thesis – Ms. Maria Socorro Z. Manguiat
“The Right to Cleaner Air: Strategies for Pollution Control in the Light of Existing Laws”
In the 1993 Bar Examinations, your batch achieved a passing percentage of 84.29% (which was the highest in that year, as compared to UP College of Law’s 63.33, and San Beda College’s 60.44%). Your batch took five (5) of the Top Ten Places:
# 1 – Anna Leah Fidelis T. Castañeda (88.325%)
# 3 – Rosemarie U. Griño (86.825%)
# 5 – Maria Josefina G. Se (85.275%)
# 8 – Rogelio J. Bondoc, Jr. (84.9%)
#10 – Maria Socorro Z. Manguiat
“Coincidentally, it was only since the 1991 Bar Examinations that the Supreme Court began to officially issue the Statistical Data on Bar Examinations Results, and covered the first J.D. Graduates of the Law School. Ever since the Supreme Court’s annual Statistical Data sheets 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 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 87.78%, compared to San Beda’s 82.04% and UP College of Law’s 77.48%; and compared to the national passing percentage of 24.76% the past twenty (20) years (1991 to 2010).
“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.
“Other Highlights Pertaining to ALS Class 1993:
- Atty. Hans Leo J. Cacdac is a member of the Ateneo Law Faculty of long-standing, and was the Bar Examiner in Labor Laws for the 2010 Bar Examinations. He is currently the Undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
- Atty. Jose Midas P. Marquez is currently the Supreme Court Spokesperson and Court Administrator.
- Atty. Arlene J. Bag-ao is currently a Party List Representative under Akbayan and the batch’s first member of the House of Representative.
- Francisco Jose Villa, Jr. is the Director for Planning and Information Service of the Energy Regulation Commission (ERC).
- Atty. Francisco Gonzalez is a member of the ALS Faculty teaching Taxation.
Highlights of the Sharing That Evening:
Congresswoman Arlene J. Bag-ao was requested to be the first to give a sharing for the batch. She shared that she is the party-list representative of Akbayan in the House of Representative, and she will be part of the House’s prosecution panel in the impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Merceditas N. Gutierrez. Having championed the Sumilao partners, she is now chairman of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Committee, and also an author of the RH Bill being the chairman of the Committee on Population. She dreams of one-day being in retirement tagging the endangered gree turtles.
She shared that her most memorable times in the Law School were her being able to somehow get support from her batchmates to have her meals in the H.V. dela Costa cafeteria. She recalled being the product of the Law School’s scholarship program, and that she earned enough money from her classmates by being in charge of xeroxing cases, where most never asked for their change.
Atty. Francisco “Kiko” Gonzalez V recalled that his most memorable moment in Law School was in the Constitutional Class of Atty. Efren de Leon, who had asked Mr. in Constitutional Law classes. She recalls that when Prof. de Leon had asked Mr. Jorge Ralph C. Barreno what the Preamble was, and he was able to recite it word-for-word; then Mr. Ciprinao J. Mercado was also asked the same question and he was also able to recite the Preamble word-for-word. He had told himself then that he would not last for more than a week in Law School—but eventually he did graduate and pass the Bar Examinations.
Aside from his teaching loads in the Ateneo Law School, Atty. Kiko does tax work and has served the Philippine Association of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) for many years.
Atty. Francisco Jose S. Villa, Jr. expressed his gratefulness to the Law School where he learned how to study the Law and talk with authority. The tradition of joining a study group allowed a greater means to learn the law and make many friends, especially if one is a working student. He shares that many of the members of the batch are top-caliber practitioners and many a leaders in government. He associates the Ateneo Law School with “high standards of education,” “ethical standards,” and “inculcating Catholic values.”
Atty. Noli O. Tibayan recalls how studying in Law School forced him to study hard; and it was in the Ateneo Law School where he received his first failing mark in his life (Persons and Family Relations). He said studying in the Law School was a humbling experience; and that now he often laughs at recalling the experience since it really made him very well grounded.
Atty. Regan de Guzman shared that his most memorable moment in Law School was when he met his future wife for the first time—then Ms. Ethel Miranda. He remembered that he and his friends in Law School were often “drunk” from their many drinking session. He recalls that there were times that students in Atty. Francis Lim’s class would get failing marks because they did not pay attention to footnotes of cases. He remembers one long recitation in the course of Atty. Cesar Villanueva, that eventually ended with the conclusion of “damnum absque injuria,” and in exasperation he just said a curse term that rhymed with the latin phrase. He recalls that his low grade in Property under Justice Hector Hofilena had put him in danger of not making the QPI, but that the very high grade in Sales under Atty. Villanueva had actually saved him.
He shared but after many years at the Quisumbing Torres law firm, he finally set-up a partnership with some of his batchmates, concentrating on litigation, corporate law and project finance. He said that when he began to practice law in the field of litigation, he came to the realization that everything he learned in Law School was “useless,” and that in litigation one has to distinguish between what is right and wrong—that legal practice presents a daily struggle between what you believe in and the reality of practice.
Atty. Ethel Miranda-De Guzman spoke next and complemented the earlier remark of her husband—that the best memory she has of the Law School is having met Mr. Regan de Guzman. She recalled that her other memorable time in the Law School was in the class of Atty. Cesar Villanueva when the major earthquake hit the Philppines. She has always been a studious student, but she had to study even harder in the Law School. After passing the Bar Examinations, she lawyered for a GOCC, but more on the management side and not purely legal practice. She is now in real estate and oversees the “after-sales” and legal requirements of Tagaytay Highlands. She expressed personal gratitude for the time spent in the Law School—“we are what we are today because of the Ateneo Law School, and hopefully we can be greater.”
Atty. Ma. Cristina Magdalena F. Villanueva recalled that the most memorable time in the Law School was when in the class of Atty. Cesar Villanueva the “earth began to shake,” and at first they were not being dismissed, but that eventually the class filed out of the classroom to outside the building, and pictures were even taken. To the question “What do I love about the Law School?,” she replied: “The friends I made in Law School are the best friends I have in my life today, including Tita Pearl, Tita Beth, members of the RegsCom and Sarfi (now the Student Appeals Committee). She is practicing law in partnership with Atty. Regan De Guzman (since 2003), although she is not in litigation, but more in Project Finance and Corporate Law.
Atty. Michelle Flordeliz B. Lazaro shared that the first few years in the Law School covered incidents involving her father, then OGCC Head, Justice Lolong Lazaro, especially in the class of his fraternity brother, Prof. Efren de Leon—but that she decided early on that she would take it in stride. She shared how in the case of Galman, Prof. de Leon had asked the friend reciting who was referred to as the coordinator of the whitewash job being done—and that she just had to coach the poor classmate: “Just say it’s Papa.” She recalls being called for recitation in the Marcos decision, and she ended up reciting the dissenting opinion. She often now laughs at those moments she had in Law School.
She remarked that there is so much to remember of the time in Law School, but especially the knowledge gained which (in contrast to the observation of Atty. Regan de Guzman), was important in her practice. She expressed gratitude that she gained so many friends in Law School.
Not being able to contain herself, she said shared that her recollection of the earthquake incident in the class of Atty. Villanueva was a bit more vivid that the rest recalled. She remembered that at that moment Lida Abad Santos as reciting, and she had said “Sir, may earthquake.” But Atty. Villanueva peeked at the hallway, then stood under the door jam, and instructed “Please continue [with the recitation].” –after securing himself under the door jam!
Atty. Farah “Dimples” Z.G. Nicolas-Suchianco, who was the Student Council President of her batch, recalled the time in a class when the members were asked to introduce themselves, and “ Rp; Macaranas” introduced himself as being “from the City of Baguio, 1700 feet above sea-level.” Her memorable moments in Law School were mostly of recitation moments—of the times in Judge Ruperto Kapunan’s Criminal Law classes, where the answers would be dictated by others. She expressed her good feelings of being back in the Law School, and her first time to be in the Rockwell campus. She shared that she is a law firm with other Atenean lawyers, and that her legal practice has been quite demanding and forced her to recall many of the things she learned in Law School. She said that during the evening she was looking at the list of the members of ALS Class 1993, and was recalling many members of the batch who have touched her life—since it has been almost 20 years since they graduated.
Atty. Adrian Ferdinand S. Sugay recalled that last year he had been in the Rockwell campus to celebrate the Grand Alumni Homecoming of HS ’85, and that he shared that it was kinda “alanganin” to be in the Ateneo Law campus since he did not feel more “welcoming” atmosphere to alumni. He shared that he has joined a law firm that is composed mostly of UP Law graduates.
He shared that he has always been close to the late Atty. Jesus Almando Laurel, and has kept in touch with him all the years until his death. He had completed a book on Modes of Discovery, which he asked support from the batch, to be able to publish. Atty. Laurel had difficulty in completing the manuscript because he had insisted on using a typewriter. He is working things out with Atty. Angelito Bernardino to have the book published soon.
Atty. Eileen Rosario Cordero-Plana shared that her most memorable moment in the Law School in the moot court class when a classmate (Francisco Jose S. Villa, Jr.) presented in evidence a death certificate “to prove that the cadaver is dead!” It was in Law School, she recalled, that she learned “to work really, really hard, and also how to play hard.” She said that the nice thing about the H.V. dela Costa campus was its configuration that literally forced students and faculty to converged at its hallways, and that people really got to know one another. She said that she is now with Romulo Mabanta law firm, and it feels like an extension of the Ateneo Law School days, mainly because many of the Jessup mooters are recruited into the firm.
Atty. Maria Cecilia Katigbak, who spent most of his time with ALS Class 1993, was a working student (audit practice and with two kids) on a 5-year tract, and eventually graduated with ALS Class 1994. She found meaning in the reunion only by attending that night’s affair with ALS Class 1993. She remembered on the first day of school (orientation) she looked at all the students and everybody’s face was young, and fortunately she sat next to the good-looking Duane Santos. One of her most memorable moment in Law School was in the Taxation class of Atty. Reynaldo Geronimo, whom she really wanted to have as professor because she wanted to learn Tax properly under the master. She remembered being grilled in his class with questions like “What would you study four years in Law School?” But Atty. Geronimo became a close friend, and referred tax matters to him later on. She shared that Ateneo Law School allowed her to enjoy being with very committed young people—“I really enjoyed all the year I had in Law School.”
Atty. Paul Melvin S. Robles shared his most memorable moment in Law School was about “Kaka” but that he could not share it publicly. He remembers always picking at seat in class that was towards the back and which afforded an opportunity, during recitation, to see the facial expression of Soci Manguiat, to determine whether was you are saying is correct or not. He shared that the most important thing about the Ateneo Law School for him was that he made very good friends, and that is what he cherishes most in Law School.
Atty. Rommel M. Santiago said that his most memorable moment in Law School was meeting his future wife—Ms. Rosanne Duavit. He recalls how often at the end of classes, he would with his group gather at the place of Mitch Lazaro and share whatever happened during the day. He shared that life in the Law School was really “tough”—you had to study hard. He admitted that even after a couple of years after graduating from the Law School, he still had dreams of taking exams, and of still facing the Bar Examinations.
Atty. Raymund Nonato P. Navarro shared that he is the Chief Financial Officer of the Manila Memorial Park group. He recalled how in Law School in preparing for an examination, he had worked out an arrangement with a class,ate (Duavit) to divide the lessons, and just “collaborate” during the exam; but that unfortunately the “straight-as-an-arrow” Bong Alikpala had been assigned to sit between them, and refused to be part of the scheme— “Bagsak kaming dalawa sa exam.” He remembered many recitations being conducted with the shuffling of the class cards; of playing “pusoy dos”.
Atty. Peter Suchiangco (not in the official list of ALS Class 1993), shared that he is originally with ALS Class 1992, joined eventually Class 1993, and graduated officially with ALS Class 1994. He shared that Ateneo Law School taught him to pray very hard, since he would go in and out of the chapel before and after classes. One of the memorable moments in Law School for him was in Torts classes under Atty. Tito Tesoro, where having assigned 25 cases for reading, he had read all of them, except one in which he was unfortunately asked to recite on. Studying the scene in the Law School, and being a working student, he figured that the way to survive was to make friends with full-time students—that was the reason why he joined the group of Dimples Nicolas; and ended of course marrying Dimples.
Atty. Nelson W. Arquiza, was the Treasurer of the Student Council at his time. For him, the memorable moments were the bloopers committed in class. In first year, he recalled that students learned how to survive the semester—the best way to survive was being part of a good study group. He remembers the time with Prof. Reynaldo Geronimo where he would study for five days in preparation, only to receive a failing mark in recitation.
Member of the Class 1993 Who Have Passed Away:
Jesus Amando Laurel
ALS Class of 1993:
|CERILO RICO S. ABELARDO||JESUS AMANDO M. LAUREL|
|ARNI P. ABELLA||MICHELLE FLORDELIZ B. LAZARO|
|JOSE EMMANUEL C. ACADEMIA||ROBERT NOMAR V. LEYRETANA|
|CRISTOBAL M. AGRAVANTE, JR.||MARIA ICASIANA S. LUZONG|
|JOSEPH RONALD F. ALMEIDA||ANTONIO P. MANAHAN, JR.|
|RAYMUND NONATO S. L. AQUINO||MA. ERLINDA M. MANALAC|
|TOMAS CARMELO T. ARANETA||MARIA SOCORRO Z. MANGUIAT|
|MARIA ANTONIETTE E. ARGUELLES||JOSE MIDAS P. MARQUEZ|
|NELSON W. ARQUIZA||EDWARD P. MARTINEZ|
|RAQUEL V. ASPIRAS-SANCHEZ||ALAN DAVID L. MATUTINA|
|TEODORO C. BAROQUE, JR.||GAVINO R. MENESES, JR.|
|JORGE RALPH C. BARRENO||CIPRIANO JOSE J. MERCADO|
|MA. VIRGINIA VICTORIA S. BARRERA||ETHEL D. MIRANDA|
|ANGELITO D. BERNARDINO||MARC RENE A. MIRANDA|
|ROGELIO J. BONDOC, JR.||MARC RUSSEL M. NAVARRO|
|PAUL GERARD R. BRIONES||MICHAEL S. NAVARRO|
|PATRICIA ANGELA O. BUNYE||RAYMUND NONATO P NAVARRO|
|ALEXANDER H. BURIAS||PHILIP ZACHARY A. NAZARENO|
|HANS LEO J. CACDAC||MA. FARAH Z. G. NICOLAS-SUCHIANCO|
|JOSE ANDRES A. CANIVEL||JOHNIELLE KEITH P. NIETO|
|MA. REBECCA T. CARRASCOSO||AIDA G. OMOS-DOMINGO|
|ANNA LEAH FIDELIS T. CASTANEDA-ANASTACIO||WALTER S. ONG|
|MICHAEL REX O. CELIZ||DENNIS JOSE MARIA A. ORTIGUERA|
|MANUEL JOAQUIN G. CONCEPCION||JOSE RAMON ANTONIO R. ORTIZ|
|EILEEN ROSARIO A. CORDERO-BATAC||CLARA RITA A. PADILLA|
|REAGAN F. DE GUZMAN||MA. LOURDES FILOMENA BERNARDITA A. PASCUAL|
|NELSON S. DE JESUS||MARIA CARIDAD ESPERANZA B. PASCUAL|
|FREDERIC JAMES F. DECLARO||REUBEN EDWIN D. PENEYRA|
|MARILOU O. DELA CRUZ||ANNA LIZA A. PERALTA|
|JEAN SUSAN V. DESUASIDO-GILL||VILLAMOR VENTURA S. PLAN|
|ROSANNE Y. DUAVIT-SANTIAGO||JUANCHO ALBERT A. POBLETE|
|BELINDA E. DUGAN||JOSEPH J. RAMOS|
|MARIA ELENITA S. DUNGO-NIETO||PAUL MELVIN S. ROBLES|
|WILMA T. EISMA-BARBASA||ANTONINO B. ROMAN III|
|HEDY E. ESMANE||PAUL ROMMEL M. SANTIAGO|
|MA. LOURDES C. ESTEBANLAR||AILEEN MAY P.SANTOS-GATMAYTAN|
|JOSE N. FERRER, JR.||MARIA VICTORIA M. SARMIENTO-TAMBUNTING|
|MARY CHRISTINE C. FLORIDO||PETER S. SAW|
|GILBERTO D. GALLOS||MARIA JOSEFINA G. SE|
|CARLOS P. GATMAYTAN III||MA. CRISTINA A. SINJIAN-BERNARDINO|
|VICENTE D. GEROCHI IV||MARIA SOPHIA T. SOLIDUM|
|JOHN KENNETH A. GO||ADRIAN FERDINAND S. SUGAY|
|DEANABETH C. GONZALES||NOLI O. TIBAYAN|
|FRANCISCO B. GONZALEZ V||MIRIAM KATHERINE C. TOGLE-RECINTO|
|CECILIA FARIDA ELLNOR M. GOROSPE||MARISSA C. TOMACRUZ-ACADEMIA|
|ROSEMARIE U. GRINO||VALERIE U. VELASCO|
|RAMON JOSE L. GUERRERO||MARA C. VICTORIA|
|RAMONCITO GERARDO S. GUPIT||FRANCISCO JOSE S. VILLA, JR.|
|RAMIL A. JAPA||LISSA BELLE M. VILLANUEVA|
|EL CID C. JAVIER||MARIA CRISTINA MAGDALENA F. VILLANUEVA|
|NOLA OLYMPIA J. JOSE||MARIA GABRIELLE ROSARIO M. YLAGAN|
|MA. VENECIA D.C. JOVELLANOS||MARIE FRANCESCA THERESE J. YUVIENCO|
|JOYCE O. KHO||ANTHONY T. ZAMORA|
|LUCIA INOCENCIA L. LABAD||JEFFREY JOHN L. ZARATE|
|RAYMOND REYNOLD R. LAUIGAN|