On 22 June 2016, the PBA celebrated its 125th Foundation Day Anniversary at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Manila Peninsula Hotel. Nearly 200 members and guests joined the celebration. Our guest of honor and speaker was the Hon. Conchita Carpio Morales, Ombudsman of the Republic of the Philippines. Her keynote speech was covered by leading media outlets and featured in full on www.rappler.com. It centered on the Rule of Law as a tool for good governance.
Adding a poignant touch to the occasion, the PBA honored two (2) of its esteemed members that evening. First to receive a PBA Citation was the late Senate President Jovito Salonga, one of the original incorporators of the PBA in 1958. He was cited for his life-long contributions to upholding the Rule of Law, as a legal practitioner, professor of law and public servant. The second PBA Citation was conferred on Atty. Delfin Gonzales, who at 103 years old is the oldest member of our association. He was honored for his inspiring life and his outstanding career as a law practitioner. Certificates of Appreciation were also given to acknowledge the generous contributions of our Sustaining Members.
Apart from receiving traditional citations, the evening’s honorees were also gifted by our President with handcrafted statuettes of Lady Justice garbed in traditional Filipino dress made of Sinamay fabric. Shortly after being honored by the PBA, the inspiring life story of Atty. Delfin Gonzales landed as cover story of Starweek, the Sunday Magazine of the Philippine Star. Later in the year, Ombudsman Morales was conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the University of the Philippines and given the Ramon Magsaysay Award for her excellence in public service.
During welcome cocktails and over the formal dinner, we were treated to renditions of familiar tunes by a string quartet from the Manila String Machine and a number of original compositions from the Ridleys Band. Trustees Miguel Luis Orosa and Rachelle Aileen Santos served as hosts for the evening. To reach out to future generation of lawyers and introduce them to the PBA, we also welcomed for the first time, law students from leading schools as guests in the event.
Indeed, the annual celebration of the foundation of the oldest voluntary association of lawyers in our country served as an opportunity for us to renew and strengthen our abiding commitment to upholding the Rule of Law.
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