By: Professor Pacifico Agabin (1991)

On December 29, 1973, 11 outstanding alumni of the UP College of Law signed the Articles of Incorporation of the UP Law Alumni Foundation. These were then Justice Secretary Vicente Abad Santos, National Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, Justice Ameurfina M. Herrera, Commissioner Gregoria C. Arnaldo, Secretary Catalino T. Macaraig, Jr., Batasang Pambansa Member Mariano V. Agcaoili, Dean Irene R. Cortes, UP Law Center Director Froilan M. Bacungan, Atty. Luciano E. Salazar, Atty. Armando S. Padilla and Atty. Edgardo J. Angara.

The Securities and Exchange Commission registered the Articles of the Foundation on January 11, 1974, coinciding with the 63rd founding anniversary of the UP College of Law. The Foundation was organized as a non-stock, non-profit corporation, and was also registered as tax-exempt foundation with the National Science Development Board. In fact, the Foundation was organized and incorporated principally to assume financial responsibility for certain imperative needs of the UP College of Law such as professorial chairs and student scholarships.

The objectives of the Foundation are:

  1. To promote, encourage, sponsor and/or initiate research and development projects and to establish, set up and maintain scholarships or professorial chairs, in order to foster, promote and encourage the study and improvement of fundamental work and/or economic evaluation in the fields of law and public administration.
  2. To conduct, sponsor, and publish the results of its research and development projects or studies in order to benefit the public on a non-discriminatory basis; to build, improve, enlarge or equip buildings, and libraries required for research in the fields of law and public administration; and to establish, maintain or endow institutions doing research of all kinds in the fields of law and public administration.
  3. To acquire properties, real or personal, receive contributions, gifts, endowments, bequests, legacies and donations of all kinds from donors here and abroad; to invest its funds, monies and properties in such undertakings and to pursue such activities as the Foundation may deem appropriate form time to time to carry out any or all of the foregoing purposes; and to enter into, make, perform and carry out or cancel and rescind contracts of every kind and for any lawful purpose with any person, firm, association, corporation or syndicate, domestic, or otherwise.
  4. To raise money for any of the purposes of the Foundation and from time to time without limit as to amount, borrow money, make, accept, endorse, guarantee, execute and issue promissory notes, drafts, bills of exchange, warrants and other negotiable or non-negotiable instruments and evidences of indebtedness, and to secure the payment thereof, and of the interests thereon, by mortgage on or pledge, conveyance or assignment in trust of, the whole or any part of the assets of the Foundation, real, personal, or mixed, including contracts of rights, whether of the time owned or thereafter acquired, and to sell, pledge or otherwise dispose of such securities or other obligations of the Foundation for its purposes.

The first set of elected officers of the Foundation were:

Chairman of the Board Sec. Vicente Abad Santos
President Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile
Vice-President Justice Ameurfina Herrera
Treasurer Commissioner Gregoria Cruz-Arnaldo
Secretary Atty. Edgardo J. Angara
Assistant Secretary Atty. Violeta C. Drilon

The first Board of Trustees was composed of Secretary Vicente Abad Santos, Emilio Abello, Mariano V. Agcaoili, Edgardo J. Angara, Gregoria Cruz Arnaldo, Irene R. Cortes, Juan Ponce Enrile, Froilan M. Bacungan, Armando S. Padilla, Luciano E. Salazar, Justice Ameurfina M. Herrera, and Catalino T. Macaraig, Jr..

Immediately after its founding, the Foundation launched a fund drive with the goal of raising 200,000 for the College of Law. The fund-raising campaign of the Foundation went into high gear after President Ferdinand Marcos issued a Presidential Proclamation No. 1258 on April 26, 1974 authorizing the UPLAF to conduct a national fund campaign from April 26 to December 31, 1974. The proclamation called on all sectors of the national community, particularly leaders of business and industry, to contribute to the drive. Letters were sent to law alumni, businessmen, industry leaders, and corporations for them to endow professorial chairs and scholarships. At the end of the year, UPLAF was able to exceed its goal by raising P216,355.87.

The UPLAF then decided in early 1975 to use the money for a lecture series and for two categories of professorial chairs; the first in recognition of achievement, and the second to provide faculty grants for the junior members of the law faculty. Thus, in April 1975, the UPLAF, with the approval of the UP Board of Regents, established the JBL Reyes Professorial Chair in Civil Law, a lectureship with Justice JBL Reyes as the first lecturer and faculty grants for 3 faculty members, namely Profs. Araceli T. Baviera, Carmelo V. Sison, and Ruben F. Balane. The following year, 1976, the third faculty grant was converted to a professorial chair in Jurisprudence and Prof. P.V. Fernandez was appointed to the chair. The invited lecturer for the same year was then Ambassador Arturo Tolentino.

The Foundation continued its fund-raising campaign in 1976 and 1977, soliciting contributions from the alumni of the college. By the middle of 1977 the funds of the Foundation invested in private companies had doubled.

In 1977-1978, the faculty grants were awarded to Profs. Carmelo V. Sison and Eduardo A. Labitag, as Prof. Baviera declined to hold the Professorial Chair. The JBL Reyes Professorial Chair in Civil Law was awarded to Prof. Ruben Balane and the lectureship to Dr. Florentino Feliciano. The Professorial Chair in Jurisprudence was again held by Prof. P.V. Fernandez. Those appointments were renewed for the school year 1978-79, 1979-80, and 1980-81.

In August 1978, the Foundation launched another fund drive, set in motion again by a Proclamation of the President of the Philippines, Proclamation No. 1760 dated July 19, 1978. The proclamation called on all citizens to contribute generously to the UPLAF and to support its objectives. A member of alumni responded to the call and sent in their contributions.

The following year, 1979, the campaign for funds began with a raffle managed by then NBI Director Jolly Bugarin, with a brand new Mercedez as the top prize. The drive grossed a total of P400,000.00.

It was in 1981 that Pres. Marcos promulgated LOI 1156 which established a trust fund for the faculty by setting aside not more than P1 million every year from the collections for the Law Center for the purpose of promoting the teaching of law, developing expertise in specialized areas of law, and maintaining high standards of competence and professionalism among members of the UP College of Law faculty. The UP Board of Regents constituted a Trust Committee to manage and administer the faculty fund collected under LOI 1156, while the UPLAF also created a counterpart Trust committee to manage and administer funds solicited from the private sector. The Trust Committee constituted by the Board of Regents later designated the UPLAF Board as administrator of the faculty development funds.

The faculty fund began to build up in 1982 with the amount set aside annually from the Law Center collections, but the UPLAF did not let up in its fund drive in the private sector. It sponsored“The Magic Flute” in 1982 which netted proceeds of over P100,000.00. The UPLAF expanded its assistance to the College in SY 1981-82 and 1982-83 by increasing the number of professorial chairs endowed by the trust fund, purchasing office equipment for the College and awarding travel grants to deserving faculty members and researchers. Faculty grants were also extended to designated members of the faculty who would prepare textbooks in their respective fields of expertise. These were Prof. Esteban B. Bautista for his materials on Patents; Prof. Salvador T. Carlota for Land Titles and Deeds; and Prof. Vicente V. Mendoza on Constitutional Law. Travel assistance was also provided to Prof. Haydee B. Yorac as head of the 1982 Jessup delegation to Washington D.C., and to Antonio Oposa of the College of Law team to debate in Cebu City. This was repeated in 1983, when the UPLAF gave travel assistance to Dean Bartolome S. Carale as head of the 1983 Jessup team to the U.S., and to R. Guanzon, one of the team members. Travel assistance was also given to R. Mendoza as ALA delegate to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In 1984, due to the resignation of Justice Abad Santos as chairman and of Sec. Ponce Enrile as president, the UPLAF Board elected Justice A. Herrera as chairman of the Board and President. Commissioner Ruben B. Ancheta of the BIR and Atty. Edgardo B. Espiritu of Metrobank filled up the vacancies of the Board. The other trustees included Chairman Ponciano A. Mathay, Gonzalo W. Gonzales, Mario D. Camacho and Teresita Cruz-Sison, aside from the sitting members of the Board.

In 1984, the investments of UPLAF began to pay off and it started to grant annual across-the-board honoraria for the regular faculty and staff of the College. This was in addition to the existing professorial chairs and faculty grants given to deserving professors. Year-end bonuses were also given to the faculty and administrative staff.

The UPLAF had, as of 1984, administered legacy chairs in honor of a number of personages, like the Carlos A. Barrios Professorial Chair, the Roberto Sabido Chair in Jurisprudence, the Melquiades Gamboa Chair in Jurisprudence, the Guillermo Guevarra Chair in Penal Science and Criminology, the Quintin Paredes Professorial Chair in Remedial Law, the 1957 Chair in Government, the Jose P. Melencio Lectureship in International Law, and the Edgardo J. Angara Professorial Chair in Asean Development. Prizes for the best legal papers from the students were awarded from the Roberto Sabido Fund, while prizes for the outstanding law inters were taken from the Victor Tiotuyco Fund. These professorial chairs and prizes continue to the present.

In 1985, the UPLAF expanded the range of its assistance to the College. Some books written by the faculty or the alumni were funded by the Foundation to be reimbursed from the proceeds of the sale. The Foundation also continued its assistance for the publication of the Philippine Law Journal, donating P150,000 for the year.

In 1987, the Trust Committee governing the faculty development fund approved the proposed regulation for availments therefrom on the payments of honoraria for regular faculty members and staff of the College of Law. The regulation provided for use of the interest from the law research fund to be divided into two components: a teaching incentive component and a research grant component, for faculty development. The UPLAF was designated administrator of the fund, even as the Trust Committee decided that the fund should be invested only in T-bills.

Atty. Violeta C. Drilon was elected a member of the Board of Trustees in 1987. The Foundation also approved a cash prize of P5,000 and a certificate of award for the best legal intern, to be taken from the Victor Tiotuyco Fund. The award was accepted by the U.P. President to take effect in the school year 1987-88. The Foundation also approved the grant of financial assistance to Prof. Raul C. Pangalangan to pursue graduate studies in Harvard Law School.

The UPLAF in 1988 shouldered the expenses of the UP College of Law Jessup Moot Court team to Washington D.C. by contributing P100,000 from the Class 1957 Fund. The Foundation also continued with the honoraria and incentive pay of the faculty and the staff of the College.

The class of 1941 contributed in 1989 P25,000.00 to the UPLAF for scholarships, while SGV turned over P20,000.00 as a contribution to the UPLAF. By this time, the funds for chairs and scholarships totaled more than P2.5 million, the funds of UPLAF more than P1.1 million and the faculty fund reached P6.9 million.

For the years 1990 to the present, the UPLAF had regularly disbursed, in addition to the faculty grants, honoraria for research for the regular full-time faculty, for researchers, and for the administrative staff of the College. Retired full-time professors who continued as lecturers in the College were also given honoraria. The Foundation also funded the publication of sourcebooks in Constitutional Law and in Criminal Law compiled by the law faculty by appropriating P200,000.00 from its funds.

The UPLAF again shouldered the expenses of the UP College of Law Jessup Competition Team that went to the US in 1991 by contributing P100,000.00. The Foundation also approved the increase of the honoraria for professorial chairs to P24,000 and the faculty grants to P12,000.