Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban:
A Man of Service, A Great Man
(Delivered by Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez during the Testimonial Dinner, tendered by the Society for Judicial Excellence, in honor of Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban on January 19, 2006, at 6:00 o’clock in the afternoon, Manila Diamond Hotel.)
Our honouree, Mr. Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, and Mrs Leni Panganiban, now the first lady of the judiciary, officers and members of the Society for Judicial Excellence, distinguished guests, especially Justice Hermosisima, Dean Dimayuga, Dir. Evelyn Dumdum, our Clerk of Court Ma. Luisa Villarama, Atty. Ishmael Khan, Atty. Lulu Laurea, ladies and gentlemen, good evening!
With the myriad compliments affectionately bestowed on our honouree by our excellent speakers, I believe I must only confine myself to the role thrust upon me – i.e., to bring this affair to its lifting culmination.
It has been a very splendid evening for all of us in the Society for Judicial Excellence. Breaking bread with the new chief justice signifies the continuation of the alliance we earlier forged with Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. – an alliance made stronger by the fact that Chief Justice Panganiban is our society’s “founding father.” It was upon his advice and encouragement, as chairman of the Committee on Judicial Excellence Awards, that we organized ourselves into a Society. Yes, our Society is his brainchild. This evening, therefore, presents the excellent opportunity for the “father” and his “child: to pledge their support and commitment to one another. And without being too presumptuous, I am sure that with the chief justice as the “father,” a brighter future lies ahead for our Society and of course, for our members.
My dear awardees, lest our motive in holding this testimonial dinner be held suspect, let me emphasize that we honor Chief Justice Panganiban, not only because of his well-deserved appointment as chief justice, but also because of his unparalleled achievements. We have to grasp from his works the lessons that will propel us to greater heights of success. A role model, we have to follow his example. A summation of all his fine qualities mentioned this evening, shows that his is the finest standard of ethics, professional competence, integrity and independence – all the virtues and ideals for which our Society stands for. These are the same virtues and ideals that catapulted him to the category of those great men who have made their marks in history.
At this juncture, I am reminded of what Jane Addams, an American social activist, considered as “a great man who has made his mark in history.” She described him as follows:
“He is a man who has looked through the confusion of the moment and has seen the moral issue involved;
He is a man who has refused to have his sense of justice distorted;
He has listened to his conscience until it becomes a trumpet call to like-minded men, so that they gather about him and together, with mutual purpose and mutual aid, they make a new period in history.”
Chief Justice Panganiban is the embodiment of such “great man.” Thus, his conscience serves a trumpet call to all of us here who adhere to his ideals and virtues. And we know that if we join hands with him; if we open ourselves to his judicial reforms and assist him all the way; if we look up to him as a leader, we too can make a mark in the history of the Supreme Court.
Allow me to cut short my remarks at this point, lest I would be taking much of your precious time. As I bid you goodnight, let me leave to you some thoughts to ponder: “the lessons of great men are lost unless they reinforce upon our minds the highest demands which we make upon ourselves; they are lost unless they drive our sluggish wills forward in the direction of their highest ideals.” Tonight we have honoured our chief justice for his sterling qualities, but this would amount to nothing if we cannot draw from them the inspiration to continue our quest for the best and the highest in life.
Mabuhay si Chief Justice Panganiban!
Thank you and God bless everyone!
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.”