San Beda College-Alabang Confers First Ever Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa Degree on Justice Hernando
December 13, 2022
Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando was conferred the first ever Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, of the San Beda College – Alabang (SBCA) during SBCA’s Recognition and Granting of Honoris Causa Rites held on December 7, 2022 at the Chapel of St. Benedict, SBCA.
In his message to the graduates and awardees, Justice Hernando underscored the importance of finding one’s own path or destiny as he imparted words of inspiration, drawn from his personal journey:
“When I was applying for posts in the Judiciary, I was always considered so young and most of the time my relative youth was taken against me by the JBC,” recalled Justice Hernando. “It was always disheartening, but I hung on to my dreams. I was always told that I was young, but I always made sure I was qualified for the job that I desired. That, they cannot take against me.”
He added: “We have to keep in mind that our own reality can either be what we make it out to be, or what we allow it to be. Decide for yourself. Do not romanticize your broken dreams as unfortunate by-products of fate…Find your direction. Your life is your own. Mahatma Gandhi’s wisdom is ever relevant, a portion of which I deem fit to remind us all here. He said: ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’”
Justice Hernando also shared his guiding philosophy and direction the past few years: judicial activism. He recalled the cases of Maynilad v. DENR Secretary, where the Public Trust Doctrine was formulated and applied; In Re: Investigation Report on the Alleged Extortion Activities of Presiding Justice Godofredo Abul, Jr., Branch 4, RTC, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, where the Court adopted the rule that a judge’s death during the pendency of an administrative case results in the extinguishment of his or her administrative liability; and People v. Sergio, more commonly known as the Mary Jane Veloso case, where the Court relaxed the civil procedure rules on modes of discovery.
Justice Hernando, Chairperson of the 2023 Bar Examinations, concluded his keynote by reminding the graduates that they need not be magistrates nor do they need post-graduate degrees to make a difference. “Wins can be big or small in scale,” he stressed. “But they are achieved due to a conscious effort to win. You may have been graced with a slight stroke of luck, but there are no accidents in true success. You are here not because you have just been lucky. You worked for what you have right now, and you are worth it.”
Witnessing the conferment were Supreme Court Associate Justices Mario V. Lopez, Samuel H. Gaerlan, Japar B. Dimaampao, Antonio T. Kho, Jr., retired Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta, Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) Chancellor and retired Justice Rosmari D. Carandang, and several Members of the Court of Appeals and of the Sandiganbayan. Retired PHILJA Chancellor and Supreme Court Associate Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna also graced the event as presenter of diplomas to the graduates.