Justice Caguioa urges new law graduates to be ‘irritants'

August 01, 2017

Speaking in front of the 154 newly minted Ateneo Law graduates, Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa called for the need to be “irritants.”

“Be constant, loud, unceasing, unforgiving irritants! Be vigilant, speak up, dialogue, demand accountability, demand excellence. When there is wrongdoing, when people get killed without just process, when the law is trampled upon, revised to suit the interests of a few and powerful, when the law is reduced to a numbers game, when it is set aside in favor of a maliciously developed social media strategy, do not accept it as (the) new normal,” he said.

Justice Caguioa, an AB Economics (Honors Program) graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, appealed to the would be lawyers to constantly remind [themselves] of their responsibility in upholding the law.

“Remind us we are here to serve, not to be served. Remind us that we are being relied upon to protect the rule of the law, to constantly uplift our nation’s moral fiber, to share our nation’s soul,” he said.
 

Commencement Speaker Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Alfredo Caguioa receives from Fr President Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ, the university's token of appreciation.

Commencement Speaker Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Alfredo Caguioa receives from Fr President Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ, the university's token of appreciation.

Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Caguioa — an Ateneo Law School (ALS) alumnus — served as Secretary of the Department of Justice and was also a Chief Presidential Legal Counsel to former President Benigno C. Aquino III. Before he became a public servant, the 15th placer of the 1985 Philippine Bar examinations spent 2 decades in litigation and arbitration. Likewise, he taught at the ALS, University of Santo Tomas and San Sebastian College—imparting his knowledge on subjects like Obligations and Contracts, Property, Statutory Construction and Administrative Law.

The rule of law, Justice Caguioa reasoned, is endangered so he pleaded to the new graduates to take up the mantle: “Pick it up, lift it higher. Be the irritants that will force the fluid of good to flow abundantly once again.”

Law, he added, has the power to “to do good.”

“Wielded properly, the law is there to safeguard rights, protect citizens; make bad people accountable; and criminals punished. The law instills order, determines right and wrong and uplifts the levels of decency and justice in society,” he said.  Justice Caguioa advised his fellow Ateneans to be sensitive to issues affecting the country, especially in these trying times.

“For heaven’s sake, do not allow life to go on. Be irritants and make noise!”

The 2017 ALS Commencement Exercise was held on July 15, 2017 at the Meralco Theater in Pasig City.

 

 

News Archive

  • Justice Caguioa urges new law graduates to be ‘irritants'
    Tuesday, August 01, 2017

    Speaking in front of the 154 newly minted Ateneo Law graduates, Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa called for the need to be “irritants.”

    “Be constant, loud, unceasing, unforgiving irritants! Be vigilant, speak up, dialogue, demand accountability, demand excellence. When there is wrongdoing, when people get killed without just process, when the law is trampled upon, revised to suit the interests of a few and powerful, when the law is reduced to a numbers game, when it is set aside in favor of a maliciously developed social media strategy, do not accept it as (the) new normal,” he said.

    Justice Caguioa, an AB Economics (Honors Program) graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, appealed to the would be lawyers to constantly remind [themselves] of their responsibility in upholding the law.

    “Remind us we are here to serve, not to be served. Remind us that we are being relied upon to protect the rule of the law, to constantly uplift our nation’s moral fiber, to share our nation’s soul,” he said.
     

    Commencement Speaker Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Alfredo Caguioa receives from Fr President Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ, the university's token of appreciation.

    Commencement Speaker Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Alfredo Caguioa receives from Fr President Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ, the university's token of appreciation.

    Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Caguioa — an Ateneo Law School (ALS) alumnus — served as Secretary of the Department of Justice and was also a Chief Presidential Legal Counsel to former President Benigno C. Aquino III. Before he became a public servant, the 15th placer of the 1985 Philippine Bar examinations spent 2 decades in litigation and arbitration. Likewise, he taught at the ALS, University of Santo Tomas and San Sebastian College—imparting his knowledge on subjects like Obligations and Contracts, Property, Statutory Construction and Administrative Law.

    The rule of law, Justice Caguioa reasoned, is endangered so he pleaded to the new graduates to take up the mantle: “Pick it up, lift it higher. Be the irritants that will force the fluid of good to flow abundantly once again.”

    Law, he added, has the power to “to do good.”

    “Wielded properly, the law is there to safeguard rights, protect citizens; make bad people accountable; and criminals punished. The law instills order, determines right and wrong and uplifts the levels of decency and justice in society,” he said.  Justice Caguioa advised his fellow Ateneans to be sensitive to issues affecting the country, especially in these trying times.

    “For heaven’s sake, do not allow life to go on. Be irritants and make noise!”

    The 2017 ALS Commencement Exercise was held on July 15, 2017 at the Meralco Theater in Pasig City.