Justice Carpio to graduates: 'Aspire for the rule of justice'

July 16, 2019

At the Ateneo Law School’s Commencement Exercises on July 14, Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio (A.B. Economics’70) urged the graduating class to bridge the gap between the rule of law and the rule of justice.
 
“Faithfully follow the rule of law even as you always seek and aspire for the rule of justice,” Carpio said. While lawyers have the responsibility to uphold the rule law, they must also seek for the ideal, which Carpio deemed as the “rule of justice.”

Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio reminds the Class of 2019 to always uphold the rule of law. 

“Wide gaps between the rule of law and rule of justice occasionally arise and it is the duty not only of the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive Branches, but also of the law profession, to work in closing these gap.”
 
Carpio cited the ongoing conflict between the Philippines and China over the 2016 international tribunal ruling as an example of the gap between the rule of law and the rule of justice. With China refusing to follow the UNCLOS rulling, Carpio enumerated ways on how to enforce the Arbitral ruling—tactics that do not involve going into war. These included supporting private sector initiatives that will enforce the arbitral award; entering into a boundary agreement with Malaysia and Vietnam; and allowing naval and aerial operations in the South China Sea of naval power countries like the US, UK, France, Australia, Japan and Canada.

“It is the task of lawyers and our policymakers too, to find peaceful ways to fortify and enforce the arbitral Award, so that the rule of law embodied in the arbitral Award could be transformed into the rule of justice,” Carpio said.

Class valedictorian Leo Francis Abot also talked about the crucial role of lawyers in this thought-provoking time.

Class valedictorian Leo Francis Abot receives his medal from University President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ.
Class valedictorian Leo Francis Abot receives his medal from University President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ.

“My fellow graduates, the time to be true Ateneo lawyers in the service of others, is now. What a time to be alive! Our country is changing, and our world is changing. We live in interesting times, thought-provoking times, when the rules are being re-written in many ways which are contrary to our values, the values taught to us by the Ateneo,” he said.

Abot reminded his batch mates of their responsibility: “I do not know what the future holds, but I do know what is demanded of us: veritas, integritas, and justitia. These Latin words are not merely the names of rooms found on the fourth floor of the APS building; they constitute the very essence of what we learned in the classrooms of Ateneo Law, and are the definitive standards by which we will be measured as Ateneo lawyers. Therefore, against all the disturbing developments of our times, let us be beacons of truth, icons of integrity, and harbingers of justice.”

Fr. Villarin addresses the graduating class, reminding them to always have a relationship with God.

The 73rd Commencement Exercises of the Ateneo Law School was held or the first time at Arete.
             

Read transcript of Justice Carpio's commencement address.

Read transcript of Leo Francis Abot's graduation speech. 

News Archive

  • Justice Carpio to graduates: 'Aspire for the rule of justice'
    Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    At the Ateneo Law School’s Commencement Exercises on July 14, Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio (A.B. Economics’70) urged the graduating class to bridge the gap between the rule of law and the rule of justice.
     
    “Faithfully follow the rule of law even as you always seek and aspire for the rule of justice,” Carpio said. While lawyers have the responsibility to uphold the rule law, they must also seek for the ideal, which Carpio deemed as the “rule of justice.”

    Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio reminds the Class of 2019 to always uphold the rule of law. 

    “Wide gaps between the rule of law and rule of justice occasionally arise and it is the duty not only of the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive Branches, but also of the law profession, to work in closing these gap.”
     
    Carpio cited the ongoing conflict between the Philippines and China over the 2016 international tribunal ruling as an example of the gap between the rule of law and the rule of justice. With China refusing to follow the UNCLOS rulling, Carpio enumerated ways on how to enforce the Arbitral ruling—tactics that do not involve going into war. These included supporting private sector initiatives that will enforce the arbitral award; entering into a boundary agreement with Malaysia and Vietnam; and allowing naval and aerial operations in the South China Sea of naval power countries like the US, UK, France, Australia, Japan and Canada.

    “It is the task of lawyers and our policymakers too, to find peaceful ways to fortify and enforce the arbitral Award, so that the rule of law embodied in the arbitral Award could be transformed into the rule of justice,” Carpio said.

    Class valedictorian Leo Francis Abot also talked about the crucial role of lawyers in this thought-provoking time.

    Class valedictorian Leo Francis Abot receives his medal from University President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ.
    Class valedictorian Leo Francis Abot receives his medal from University President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ.

    “My fellow graduates, the time to be true Ateneo lawyers in the service of others, is now. What a time to be alive! Our country is changing, and our world is changing. We live in interesting times, thought-provoking times, when the rules are being re-written in many ways which are contrary to our values, the values taught to us by the Ateneo,” he said.

    Abot reminded his batch mates of their responsibility: “I do not know what the future holds, but I do know what is demanded of us: veritas, integritas, and justitia. These Latin words are not merely the names of rooms found on the fourth floor of the APS building; they constitute the very essence of what we learned in the classrooms of Ateneo Law, and are the definitive standards by which we will be measured as Ateneo lawyers. Therefore, against all the disturbing developments of our times, let us be beacons of truth, icons of integrity, and harbingers of justice.”

    Fr. Villarin addresses the graduating class, reminding them to always have a relationship with God.

    The 73rd Commencement Exercises of the Ateneo Law School was held or the first time at Arete.
                 

    Read transcript of Justice Carpio's commencement address.

    Read transcript of Leo Francis Abot's graduation speech.