President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. expressed confidence on Tuesday that the Philippines will take the lead in promoting the rule of law, social stability, and economic prosperity in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
This, as he led the oathtaking of the new officers of the Philippine National Committee of ASEAN Law Association (ALA) Philippines, Inc. at Malacañan Palace in Manila.
“I am glad to administer your oaths of office today for it signals your devotion to lend your legal expertise to promote close relations, cooperation, and mutual understanding amongst magistrates, lawyers, and teachers of law in ASEAN member countries,” Marcos said.
“Your representation to the international bodies, such as the ALA, reflects our country’s continued commitment to strengthen our multilateral cooperation with our neighboring countries.”
The President said the election of the new ALA Philippines officers is vital in reaching the country’s goal of a “just global community amidst the critical geopolitical issues that we are being confronted with in the region.”
He said he is optimistic that they would be instrumental in harmonizing the respective national laws of every ASEAN country to achieve a common consensus on concerns within the region.
Marcos also hailed the Supreme Court for accepting the hosting of the Council of ASEAN Chief Justice Meeting, as well as Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo for accepting the position of Philippine National Committee chairperson of ALA Philippines.
“By taking on these challenges, you have proven that we are one with our ASEAN counterparts to facilitate legal collaboration, interconnectivity, and integration amongst them,” he said.
Marcos also pledged to support the judiciary in implementing the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027.
He said his administration respects and adheres to the judiciary’s autonomy, adding that he also aims to strengthen the partnership between the executive and the judiciary.
“Under the leadership of Chief Justice Gesmundo and the commitment of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and other public servants in the judiciary, the Filipino people can now rest assured that responsive and real-time justice can be delivered,” Marcos said.
The ALA was established by ASEAN lawyers in February 1979 in Jakarta, Indonesia through the proposal of Singaporean Professor Tan Sook Yee and the late former senator Edgardo Angara.
It was formed to create a regional organization for lawyers in ASEAN to promote close relations, cooperation, and mutual understanding among them in the region.
It aims to provide organizational cooperation in law research, provide organizational facilities for ASEAN cooperation in conflict avoidance, arbitration, and resolution of legal disputes; and push for cooperation with international, regional, national, and other organizations.
The ALA Philippines Inc. was founded on June 25, 1981 by Angara and 13 other legal luminaries in the country. (PNA)