Chief Justice Gesmundo Leads Inauguration of
Lyceum’s Sotero H. Laurel Center
September 29, 2022
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo paid tribute to Senator Sotero H. Laurel, the second President of the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU), as he led the inauguration of the Sotero H. Laurel Academic Resource Center of the LPU in Intramuros, Manila on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.
Chief Justice Gesmundo described the late Senator as “a hard-working and scholarly man; a distinguished lawyer; a leading educator; a nationalist and a statesman.” He said that the Center was aptly named in honor of Senator Sotero H. Laurel and echoed the sentiments of the late senator’s colleagues in the Senate who described the former as “steadfast in defending our independence and the rule of law” and “in upholding the highest standards of integrity, in building a better life for his fellow Filipino.”
The inauguration coincided with the 70th Foundation Anniversary of LPU and the 104th birth anniversary of Senator Laurel. The Sotero H. Laurel Academic Resource Center also houses the University Library.
The Chief Justice expressed optimism that the Center will live up to the best of Senator Laurel’s legacy and aspirations “of molding young Filipinos, of igniting patriotism in them, of empowering them so they may secure a better future for themselves.” He added that he was hopeful that the Center will “foster the Lycean values of Veritas et Fortitudo—strength not just of mind but of character—Pro Deo at Patria: For God and Country.”
The Chief Justice took pride in saying that he was happy to see that the students and stakeholders of LPU now have access to a world-class learning environment, equipped with the creative and innovative resources that they would need to succeed especially in a fast-changing world.
“Senator Laurel was a man who knew his quest, and pursued it to the fullest. It is only fitting, then, that this center offers a space where Lyceans can find the beginnings of their own quest, as well as the tools they need to succeed in it,” said Chief Justice Gesmundo, who shared that his own quest has been long and arduous.
A Lycean himself, the Chief Justice earned his Bachelor of Science in Economics degree from the LPU in 1977. In 2007, the LPU named him as its Outstanding Alumnus.
As head of judicial branch of government, the Chief Justice, together with the other Members of the Supreme Court, have endeavored initiatives towards a technology-driven Judiciary. He said that his work no longer consisted mainly of writing decisions and administratively supervising the Court and the legal profession, collegially with the other Justices. He underscored that it is also his equal duty “outside of our judicial functions, to inspire integrity and honesty in our magistrates, to motivate aspiring lawyers to the right and proper practice of their profession, and to promote among our people, especially our youth, a deep respect for the rule of law, a strong foundation of values, and an abiding sense of social responsibility and patriotism.”
Chief Justice Gesmundo concluded his message by challenging the Lyceans of today and of future generation use the Center “to champion a cause” and “to build a better life” for everyone.
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo is flanked by Commission on Higher Education Commissioner Prospero De Vera (left) and Commission on Elections Chair George Erwin M. Garcia (right) as they cut the ceremonial ribbon during the inauguration of the Sotero H. Laurel Academic Resource Center of the Lyceum of the Philippines University in Intramuros, Manila. (Courtesy of the SC Public Information Office)
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo takes time to chat with Lyceum of the Philippines University President Atty. Roberto P. Laurel before the program proper. (Courtesy of the SC Public Information Office)
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo and Lyceum of the Philippines University Assistant Vice President for Non-Academic Operations Mr. Paolo Sotero S. Laurel, grandson of the late Senator Sotero H. Laurel, share a light moment during the event. (Courtesy of the SC Public Information Office)