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Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice and Acting Chief Justice Antonio T. Carpio swears into office the incoming 2014-2016 officers, trustees, and committee members of the University of the Philippines Women Lawyers Circle (UP WILOCI) led by its President Atty. Diana F. Franco (third from right) on September 5, 2014 at the CVC Law Center. Aside from Atty. Franco, the other UP WILOCI officers are Wilma Valdemoro–Cua (Vice President, External and Internal Affairs); Catherine T. Manahan (Vice President, Executive Affairs); Anna Maria D. Abad (Vice President, Legislative Affairs); Sylvette Tankiang (Vice President, Judicial Affairs); Arlene Lapuz-Ureta (Treasurer); Katrina C. Franco (Secretary); Gabriela Roldan-Concepcion (Public Relations Officer); Maria Elena Ramiro (Internal Auditor); Carmina Alejandro-Abbas (General Counsel); Leticia Ala (Assistant Treasurer); and Malou Panganiban (Assistant Secretary).
The UP WILOCI is a 68 year old organization of women lawyers from the University of the Philippines College of Law. It was founded by the late Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Corazon Juliano-Agrava and eight of her colleagues to help improve the welfare of Filipinos, women and children in particular, by affording them free legal aid. Since then, the UP WILOCI has been at the forefront of defending human rights, not only of women and children victims of sexual abuse, but also of other noteworthy causes in various fields of law. It counts among its roster majority of the women justices in the Supreme Court, including the country’s first female Chief Justice, Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno.
The members of the UP WILOCI Board of Trustees are Minerva M.B. Ambrosio, Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, Regina Padilla-Geraldez, Maria Teresita Sison-Go, Marissa Macaraig-Guillen, Victoria V. Loanzon, Ana Teresa Arnaldo-Oracion, Patricia Ann T. Prodigalidad, Eleanor A. Tabuzo, Fides C. Cordero-Tan, and Fina de la Cuesta-Tantuico (ex-oficio). The UP WILOCI’s Council of Advisers on the other hand is composed of Gregoria Cruz-Arnaldo, Maria Araceli Herrera-Reyes, retired SC Associate Justices Ameurfina A. Melencio Herrera and Minerva Gonzaga P.G. Reyes, Lilia R. Bautista, Sylvia Lopez-Alejandro, Eva Policar-Bautista, retired SC Associate Justices Consuelo Ynares-Santiago and Minita V. Chico-Nazario, Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Teresita A.M. Villaruz, Loida Nicolas-Lewis, Ombudswoman Conchita Carpio-Morales, SC Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro, Victoria de los Reyes, Katrina Legarda, Teresita Cruz-Sison, Commission on Audit Chairperson Gracia Pulido-Tan, and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno.The following constitute the UP WILOCI Committees: Legal Aid Program: Marissa Macaraig-Guillen, Minerva M.B. Ambrosio, Ma. Luz Rañeses-Raval, Anna Maria D. Abad, Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, Fides C. Cordero-Tan, and Catherine T. Manahan (Executive Director); Ways and Means: Patricia Ann T. Prodigalidad, Elvira Veronica Escueta-Duavit, and Chrysilla Bautista; Special Projects: Rosemary King-Dominguez and Joan de Venecia; Continuing Legal Education: Victoria V. Loanzon, Grace Quevedo-Panagsagan, and Donna Zapa–Gasgonia; Publication and Information: Minerva Jean Falcon, Edna E. Diño, Ma. Luisa Latorre-Laurea, Maria Victoria Gleoresty Sp. Guerra, and Janice May R. Erni-Manongdo; and Fellowship and Membership Committee (For Decade 1990 and Up): Beverly Ann Noriega, and Sheila Bazar, and (For Decade 2000 and Up): Kristin Charisse Siao and Ma. Cristina Joy Balajadia. (Caption by Gleo Sp. Guerra; Photo by Francisco S. Gutierrez)