“There is no better way to honor the memory of such a great old man in Philippine jurisprudence than to have his book launched in this very hall where he might have sat as a member of the Supreme Court,” says Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin during the launch of “Lolo Cheng,” a book on the late SC Justice Jose Maria Valera Paredes at the Judiciary Memorabilia Hall, Old Supreme Court Building, Taft, Manila on October 4, 2019. The book was written by Joey P. Leviste, Jr., grandson of the Justice Paredes.
Also a relative of Justice Paredes, the Chief Justice describes the author’s recollection of Justice Paredes as “so vivid that I went back in time to my own childhood in that town of Bangued, Abra.”
In his Foreword, Chief Justice Bersamin writes, “Joey has done to great lengths to bring all the significant events and memorable… He was aware that only his doing so will do justice to Lolo Cheng’s legacy. The biography by the grandson just has to be worthy of the grandfather. That is the standard, and it becomes the reason that precisely makes this book so readable and enjoyable.” He adds the book “brings to life the multi-faceted story and lifetime achievements of another illustrious son of the Province of Abra.”
Appointed to the Supreme Court on August 18, 1960, the late Justice Paredes had a five-year tenure at the highest court of the land. Chief Justice Bersamin, for his part, is the fourth native of Abra to be appointed as SC magistrate and the first to have become Chief Justice. The first three were Justice Ignacio B. Villamor, the first Filipino president of the University of the Philippines; then Justice Paredes; and Justice Julio Villamor. (Caption by Annie Rose A. Laborte; Photo by Jordan H. Carinan)