THREE remarkable alumni from the Ateneo Law School (ALS) were called on to perform a most daunting and honorable task this year—that of speaker in their respective Masters of Law graduation rites.
Carlo D. Villarama (J.D., 2009), the son of Supreme Court Associate Justice Martin Villarama, spoke during the Cornell University J.D. and LL.M. graduation rites. He called on his classmates to go home and serve their people; to become lawyers who are “advocates of what is right and what is just.” In his closing remarks, he delivered a quote previously made by his father, that “[t]here is a higher law than the law of government, [that is,] the law of conscience.”
Meanwhile, Rafael Vicente R. Calinisan (J.D., 2008) shared his own experience at the LL.M. graduation rites of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He thanked his classmates for their heartfelt contributions to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda, while stating that their graduation is “a declaration, a covenant, of what we plan to do, not for ourselves, but for others and for our own countries, as responsible citizens of the world.”
Finally, Patrick Simon S. Perillo (J.D., 2008) reminded his classmates at the Columbia Law School graduation that the key to success was to begin with excellence. He spoke of their collective experience at Columbia as an important tool to serve those who have less in the law. He put emphasis on the idea of evolution, saying that the adventure is not over—on the contrary, as a “new one unfolds[,] [t]he evolution does not and will not end.”
All three speeches expressed a common denominator—that of change. In a country like ours, plagued with scandal, corruption and apathy, the call for transformation is most apparent. These three remarkable men realized the need for change, and served as an inspiration not just to their classmates, but to all of us Filipinos as well. P