Press Release
April 29, 2014

Drilon conferred Doctor of Laws degree by UP

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today received the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) from the University of the Philippines (UP) during this year's commencement exercises of the UP College of Law, where he was the guest of honor and keynote speaker.

The honorary title hailed Drilon for championing "good governance, the speedy administration of justice, and the protection of human rights," throughout his years as a lawmaker in the Philippine Congress.

The UP noted that the Senate leader "complemented his legislative agenda with programs that enhanced the capacity of various sectors, as well as much-needed projects such as the construction of school buildings, repair and upgrading of public hospital facilities and the clean-up of the Iloilo River."

The title lauded Drilon the most for "consistently upholding his principles and ideals, amidst hostile and forceful resistance, exemplifying integrity and competence in every facet of his professional and personal life."

The Senate chief expressed his "great sense of humility" as he accepted the honor bestowed upon him by the university: "To be honored in this grand manner -- conferment of Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa -- by my beloved alma mater was beyond my imagination when I graduated from this institution of learning four decades ago."

"With immense pride and joy, I share this honor with my family and the people who have been with me in my journey. I dedicate this to my late father, Cesar Sr., who would have been 94 today," he further said.

Speaking before the graduating law students, Drilon meanwhile proposed a paradigm shift to help address issues confronting the legal profession, especially in terms of accelerating the delivery of justice.

"Lawyers should be problem solvers, rather than gladiators. They should be more result-oriented, rather than procedure-based," he said.

He explained that the nation's system of litigation is adversarial by design, which "remains to be the bedrock of our democratic framework."

"In reality, the results, and even the process of litigation are imperfect. Cases in our courts take too long to resolve particularly in the Sandiganbayan, where graft cases would take an average of five years to resolve," emphasized Drilon.

He said while there are mechanisms already in place to reduce the acrimony in court litigation, these are not enough: "There is a need to change the perspective of lawyers and judges as to the handling of legal disputes."

"It is about time that we move away from being combatants, and embrace our roles as results-based problem solvers," he then concluded.

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