Now retired from the judiciary, Chief Justice Panganiban writes a column every Sunday at the Philippine Daily Inquirer. His favorite topic is principled and visionary leadership by example, which he believes the country needs to move forward socially, economically and politically. He is also an adviser, consultant and/or independent director of several business, civic, non-government, and religious groups, and a favorite speaker in various fora, round-table discussions, seminars and talk-shows.
At present, retired Chief Justice Panganiban is Independent Director of some of the biggest and most important listed companies in the Philippines like: Manila Electric Company (Meralco); Petron Corporation; Bank of PI; First Philippine Holdings Corp.; Metro Pacific Investments Corp.; Metro Pacific Tollways Corp.; Robinsons Land Corp.; GMA Network, Inc.; GMA Holdings, Inc.; and Asian Terminals; and Regular Director of Jollibee Foods Corp. He is also Independent Adviser of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT); Senior Adviser of the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co.; Chairman, Board of Advisers of the Metrobank Foundation; Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity, and Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc.; President, Manila Cathedral-Basilica Foundation and Adviser of the World Bank; Dela Salle University College of Law; Asian Institute of Management Corporate Governance Center; Johann Strauss Society and Mapa Blue Falcon Honor Society.
During the eleven years (1995-2006) that former Chief Justice Panganiban was a member of the Supreme Court, he penned about 1,200 full-length decisions, 100 separate opinions and eleven books, plus several thousand minute resolutions disposing of controversies. For this highly productive feat, he was described by a colleague (Justice Antonio T. Carpio) as “undoubtedly the most prolific writer of the Court, bar none.” According to another colleague, Justice Romeo J. Callejo Sr., “One book a year and no cases left undecided. This is Mr. [Chief] Justice Artemio V. Panganiban’s unsurpassed record. It is also the best summation of judicial reform.” On her part, Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez lauded his “preeminent judicial craftsmanship, social philosophies and literary style…” A “renaissance man… a nobly-souled and gifted jurist” is how Justice (later, Chief Justice) Renato C. Corona described him.
His year as Chief Justice was also busily spent attending to the many and varied concerns of the judicial department. Aside from heading the Supreme Court and the entire Philippine judiciary, he concurrently chaired the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) and the Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA).
The former Chief Justice 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 Atty. Emma C. Matammu, are contained in one book titled Summa (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 former Chief Justice Panganiban “extricates the possible from the hypothetical, the emerging from the established, the literature in science and the law in art.”
While a member of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Panganiban 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 form the judiciary, the Philippine Daily Inquirer published in book form his collection of columns titled “With Due Respect” which is also available in digital form from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and ITunes, and in hard copies at National Book Store.
He has been the recipient of over 250 awards and citations, including several honorary doctoral degrees. Honorary memberships in the Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society (University of the Philippines Chapter), the Consular Corps of the Philippines and in 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.”
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” in a Plaque of Acclamation that stated in part:
“Indeed, his watch as Chief Justice ushered a judicial renaissance, during which the Court set new and loftier standards for adjudication and reform. Through his exemplary devotion to his public duties and commitment to excellence and ethics, not to mention his unique and unquenchable zest for life, wisdom, wit, grace, and good humor, he leaves behind a Supreme Court and a judiciary whose independence, integrity, credibility, and prestige have attained record heights fully recognized nationally and globally. Now, therefore, in testimony of the foregoing, we, his colleagues, acclaim him as the 21st Century’s Renaissance Jurist.”
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; a recipient of over 250 awards and citations from national and international entities and organizations, including several honorary doctoral degrees; an eminent lawyer, law professor, Catholic lay worker, civic leader and businessman; a scholar imbued with mental dexterity; and, an exemplary family man.”
Some Past Activities
Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court on October 10, 1995, former Chief Justice Panganiban 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 (Panganiban, Benitez, Parlade, Africa and Barinaga), which he headed until he joined the Court in 1995. (The law firm has already been dissolved.) He also taught law in three schools. He has been, among others, 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 the late Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Council for the Laity for the 1996-2001 term.
He finished “With Honors” his elementary and high school, and “With Highest Honors” his preparatory law course (Associate in Arts). In 1959, even prior to his law graduation, he was named as the “Most Outstanding Student” of Far Eastern University. After finishing his Bachelor of Laws degree cum laude in 1960, he placed sixth in the bar examinations of that same year. A popular campus figure, he was, among others, founder and past president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), and past president of the FEU Central Student Organization.
To support his early studies at Juan Luna Elementary School and Mapa High School, which are both public schools, he hawked newspapers, peddled cigarettes and shined shoes in the streets of Sampaloc in Manila. During his college days, he sold textbooks to his classmates, and bibles to his professors and university officials. The youngest of four children, he was born of impoverished parents who died while he was still in school.
Describing CJ Panganiban’s humble beginnings, retired Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno said that his predecessor had successfully “leapfrogged the social and economic barriers of Philippine society… [and] in the Supreme Court, best blossomed for God and country.” Chief Justice Puno also hailed former Chief Justice Panganiban’s legal philosophy of Liberty and Prosperity Under the Rule of Law as one “with long longevity… [one that is] not only right… but also ripe in time.”
He is married to Elenita C. Panganiban, professor and former associate dean of the Asian Institute of Management, with whom he has five children who all hold graduate degrees from pedigreed US universities, including Harvard, Stanford, University of California, University of Chicago, University of Michigan and Boston University.
Some Introductions of Chief Justice PanganibanAurelio Montinola III, President of the Bankers' Association of the Philippines and of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, on the launch by the Philippine Daily Inquirer of the book "With Due Respect" on Mar 29, 2012 at the Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4, Makati
In a recent television interview, IMF Chief Cristine Lagarde was asked if there was anything in her background that helped prepare her for the global role that she now has.Chief Justice (ret.) Hilario G. Davide, Jr. at the launch of Chief Justice Panganibans’s book titled "With Due Respect, selected columns in the Inquirer" held on March 29, 2012 at Powerbooks, Greenbelt, Makati City.
I thank the Philippine Daily Inquirer for inviting me to attend this launching of Chief Justice Panganiban’s book With Due Respect, a collection of selected columns written by him in the PDI, and to be requested to deliver a message at such event.Ms. Chit Lijauco, Managing Editor, Philippine Tatler Magazine, May 2009 issue.
IN 1992 WHEN ARTEMIO V. PANGANIBAN was invited by President Fidel V. Ramos to be the Justice Secretary, his response was, “Mr. President, I might be the wrong choice; I did not campaign for you.” To which Ramos answered, “ I know. You did not even vote for me!”Robert Kwan, Chairman of the Board, St. Luke’s Hospital, upon reading two of Chief Justice Panganiban’s books
“God has gifted you with prophetic words, which are great quotes. While reading them, I highlighted those quotes so hopefully my kids will also learn from them when they review the books I have read.”Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto G. Romulo during the Reception in Honor of H.E. Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams on February 11, 2008
“Cited by his colleagues in the Supreme Court as “the 21st Century’s Renaissance Jurist,” the former Chief Justice has had an enviable judicial record noteworthy for its independence, integrity and erudition.”H.E. Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams during the Reception on February 11, 2008
“When people speak of him, they do so in the superlative, and describe him as a “gifted jurist”, a man of “intelligence, competence, integrity and independence”.”Bishop Socrates Villegas during the Retirement of Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban on December 06, 2006
“...Chief Justice Art has shown us that loyalty to God and excellence in government service are not incompatible.”Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez during the Tribute entitled “Through the Years: Celebrating the Life and Achievements of Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban” on November 15, 2006
“Chief Justice Panganiban joined the Supreme Court in 1995, equipped with the excellent academic and professional record. Since then, he has strengthened the Supreme Court with his competence, integrity and independence – virtues that made him a strong pillar of our institution.”Rina Jimenez-David from Inquirer/Opinion (At Large) October 29, 2006
“How he rose from frustration and defeat, to achieving every lawyer’s greatest dream is indeed an inspirational story. But I will hazard a guess that his sense of “destiny,” and how he sought to fulfil this in his years in the Court, arose not just from past experience, but from an inner fire and conviction.”Hon. Jovito R. Salonga from his Foreword to “Liberty and Prosperity” – July 1, 2006
“Chief Justice Panganiban is not awed by all sorts of criticisms, whether from friends, well-wishers, skeptics, or cynics… In a deeper sense, Art is my mentor. For he is no longer the same person I used to know.”Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr. during a Testimonial for Hon. Artemio V. Panganiban on April 22, 2006
“One book a year and no cases left undecided. This is Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban’s unsurpassed record and the best summation of judicial reform.”Hon. Chao Hick Tin, President of the Asean Law Association (ALA) during a Testimonial for Hon. Artemio V. Panganiban on April 22, 2006
“A brilliant and respected jurist, and a prolific writer, he is an acknowledged contributor to one of the world’s great revolutions – the revolution of knowledge. Anyone who knows Chief Justice Panganiban will testify that he stands for steadfastness, honesty, dedication and progress.”Atty. Avelino V. Cruz during a Testimonial for Hon. Artemio V. Panganiban on April 22, 2006
“ ...to Chief Justice Panganiban, one of the Philippines’ most brilliant and respected jurists, ...”Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez during a Testimonial Dinner of the Society for Judicial Excellence on January 19, 2006
“A summation of all his fine qualities mentioned this evening, shows that his is the finest standard of ethics, professional competence, integrity and independence…”Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez during the 10th Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. Distinguished Lecture last October 19, 2005
“... with his brilliance of mind, competence and independence, he has been adding lustre to that court.”