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By Francis Neil G. Jalando-on

CPU President Rev. Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy gives a heart symbol together with Atty. Jose Edmund E. Guillen,Hon. Francis H. Jardeleza, and Atty. Ina Bernales.

On November 9, 2023, at 3:00 pm, Central Philippine University hosted an enlightening forum on the topic of the West Philippine Sea at the Educational Media Center.

Following the prayer by Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on, the National Anthem followed. CPU President, Rev. Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy, in his opening remarks, extended a warm welcome to the attendees. The distinguished speaker for the event was Hon. Francis H. Jardeleza, a Retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Justice Jardeleza, an Ilonggo and a close friend of President Dagohoy, graced the occasion with his presence. He served as the Solicitor General of the Philippines from 2012 to 2014. Accompanying him was Atty. Jose Edmund E. Guillen, the Regional Director of the Public Attorneys Office in Region 6, and a faculty member of the CPU College of Law.

Hon. Francis H. Jardeleza, a Retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, was flocked by students after the forum.

The event gathered more than 300 students from various CPU departments, including the College of Law, College of Arts and Sciences, as well as representatives from fraternities and student organizations. The highlight of the program was the special screening of the documentary titled “Beyond The Horizon: The Continuing Quest for Justice in the West Philippine Sea.” This 40-minute documentary delved into the historical context and background of the case filed in the International Court at The Hague. This documentary is promoted by Hon. Jardeleza to many schools, and he said that so far, CPU has the most number of students that attended the screening and the forum.

Hon. Jardeleza and Atty. Guillen, both experts in legal matters, took the stage to address the numerous questions posed by the students. The central theme of their discussion revolved around the post-ruling scenario, exploring the question, “Where do we go from here?” The International Court had delivered a landmark ruling favoring the Philippines in its dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea. This year 2023 is the 10th year anniversary of the filing of the case.

The engaging forum was moderated by Mr. Matt Java, a dedicated student from the CPU College of Law. The open forum was insightful and lively as the panelists regaled the audience with historical tidbits and stories. It sparked the desire of the students for a comprehensive exploration of the West Philippine Sea controversy.

The event not only provided valuable insights into the legal intricacies of the case but also served as a platform for students to actively participate in discussions concerning the nation’s pursuit of justice in the international arena. The CPU community remains committed to fostering an environment where critical issues are explored, and students are encouraged to contribute meaningfully to the discourse surrounding such matters.


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