UPAANC Presents Award to CJ Puno

May 18, 2009 – The UPAANC Berkeley chapter tendered an intimate but animated dinner for recently-retired Philippine Supreme Court Chief JusticeĀ Reynato C. Puno at the Daly City residence of chapter presidentĀ Selenna Franco-Cefre. The gathering gave the association the opportunity to present the eminent jurist a token award of recognition for his distinguished career. On hand to witness the simple recognition ceremony were former chapter presidentsĀ Alexis Zulueta, Ceny Duldulao and Romi Beza. Also present were one of the chapter founders, Edna Victorino, and chapter members Daisy Rodriguez, Henri Fajardo, Marivi Perez, Martin Brillantes and Philippine Consul Alfonso Ver.

Consul Ver is one of the chapter’s newest members and also advised the chapter that the Chief Justice was in town to receive the prestigious Elise and Walter A. Haas International Award from the University of California Berkeley during its commencement exercises last May 16. CJ Puno is a UC Berkeley alumnus (Masters of Law ’68) who was nominated for the award by UC Berkeley student Johnny de Castro, who himself will soon have the distinction of being the first Filipino to obtain a Doctorate in Law from the state’s foremost public university. The two had crossed paths briefly in the Philippines but the CJ’s crusading work for judicial reform and human rights evidently left an indelible mark on the young law student. Among others, CJ Puno provided greater access to the judicial system by introducing “mobile courts” in the country, championed human rights by introducing the writ of amparo and espoused environmental laws by introducing the writ of kalikasan.

In an engaging after-dinner tete-a-tete, the ever-humble chief magistrate dispensed interesting anecdotes from his 39-year experience in the judiciary and down memory lane to his college days at the University of the Philippines, where the fledging jurist already distinguished himself as editor of The Philippine Collegian. Interestingly enough, renegade Jose Maria Sison was the young Puno’s classmate and fellow aspirant to the top post of the school paper. Decades later, CJ Puno clearly set himself apart from his exiled friend with his achievements and jurisprudence to earn the Most Distinguished Alumnus Award during the university’s centennial celebrations in 2008. CJ Puno told the evening’s audience that the award remains dearest to his heart – and not too far behind was the chapter’s award, of course!

All the best to CJ Puno!

Author: Web Admin