Press Release
March 9, 2021


Senator Richard J. Gordon on Monday sponsored a resolution honouring the life dedicated to service and glory of God of Fr. Joaquin Bernas, a Jesuit priest and constitutionalist, who was "an excellent man for others."

In sponsoring Senate Resolution No. 675, Gordon stressed that he wanted to make sure that the Senate does not miss the opportunity to honor such a great Filipino, a Bicolano, who was not only a leading constitutionalist but also a pillar of legal education.

"Fr. Bernas had done so much in terms of the law and in becoming an example to all his students and Jesuits, alike. He was the epitome of the quintessential Jesuit,.. Among the Jesuits, he stood high, shoulders above everyone and I call it Primus Inter Pares. He was first among equals," he said.

Gordon hailed the late Jesuit priest as one of the pillars of the 1987 Constitutional Commission, who imparted his brilliance in the drafting of the 1987 Constitution. He was often called to the court to share his wisdom as amicus curiae, or a friend of the court, on complex and noble Constitutional issues.

As a professor, the senator said, Fr, Bernas taught law in a grand manner and wanted to make great lawyers out of everyone and inspired young law students to become excellent public servants and legal practitioners by sharing his knowledge and expertise of political and constitutional law.

"He was a human being, par excellence. He was not only wise, he was not only smart, but he was a humanitarian. He was, indeed, and excellent man. He was indeed an excellent man for others... Everything that he did was indeed for the greater glory of God," Gordon further said, continuing his tribute to his former mentor.

Gordon's PSN 675 and Senate President Vicente Sotto's Senate Resolution No. 674 were unanimously adopted.

Fr. Bernas passed away at the Jesuit residence at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City on March 6. He was 88.

Fr. Bernas was ordained as Jesuit priest on June 10, 1965. Bernas finished law at the Ateneo Law School in 1962 and placed 9th in the Bar examinations. He taught and was appointed dean twice of the same law school until his retirement in 2004. Bernas also served as ADMU president and was an opinion columnist for a major daily newspaper.

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