Introduction of Lecturer for the Antiquarian Map Exhibit
Atty. Stephanie V. Gomez-Somera
Institute for Maritime and Ocean Affairs
Today I have the privilege to introduce our guest lecturer for the opening of the antiquarian map exhibit, Common Ground.
Excellence is the hallmark of this man’s career.
He was the valedictorian of Class 1975 of the University of the Philippines College of Law. He was the founder of one of the most influential law firms of the country. He was Chief Presidential Legal Counsel to President Fidel V. Ramos and the legal architect of the level-playing-field policy of the Ramos administration. For his “distinguished and exemplary service” to the Republic of the Philippines he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit in 1998.
He is currently a Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines and his written opinions are singular examples of legal scholarship and judicial integrity – for one, his ponencia in the People’s Initiative case will remain a shining example of adherence to the ideals of the Philippine Constitution.
But he is here before us today because of a personal advocacy – to protect and preserve Philippine territorial and maritime sovereignty specifically in the West Philippine Sea. He has lectured and counseled on this issue before the Philippine Bar Association, the Philippine Women Judges Association, De la Salle University, University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila, the Department of Foreign Affairs, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, National Defense College of the Philippines, and the Department of National Defense, to name a few.
He has done so, not because it is his job, but because he believes in the importance of “an understanding by citizens of all claimant states … either to restrain extreme nationalism fueled by historical lies or to give hope to a just and durable settlement of the dispute based not only on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea but also on respect for actual historical facts.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the authentically inspiring Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio.