20/05/2010: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY CONFERS THE PRESTIGIOUS HAAS AWARD TO THE HON. REYNATO S. PUNO, OUTGOING CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE PHILIPPINES
The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco is pleased to announce that a day before his retirement, outgoing Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Reynato S. Puno, Filipino was awarded the prestigious Elise and Walter A. Hass International Award by the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley), during the university’s commencement convocation on 16 May 2010 at UC Berkeley. Chief Justice Puno delivered his acceptance speech before the members of the UC Berkeley Class of 2012 who filled the university’s 11,000-seat capacity Pete Newell Court at the Hass Pavilion.
Chief Justice Puno delivers his acceptance speech
The Elise and Walter A. Haas International Award was established in 1964 by Mr. and Mrs. Walter A. Haas, Mr. and Mrs. Peter E. Haas and Mr. and Mrs. Richard N. Goldman, It is one of the most prestigious awards conferred by the UC Berkeley which honors an international alumnus of the UC Berkeley who has a distinguished record of service to his or her country. Chief Justice Puno is the first Filipino to receive the award.
Chief Justice Puno finished his Master of Laws from the UC Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law in 1968. He was nominated by Mr. Johnny de Castro, a Filipino lawyer who is pursuing his Doctorate in Laws degree at the same university. Upon his graduation, Johnny de Castro will be the first Filipino to receive the Doctorate in Law from UC Berkeley.
The award cited the Chief Justice’s sterling record of service since 1971. As Supreme Court chief magistrate, Puno initiated a several critical reforms and championed human rights with his introduction of the writ of amparo and the writ of habeas data as new remedies in protecting human rights as well as the writ of kalikasan (nature) to help enforce environmental laws. He was also cited for cleaning up corruption in the judiciary and for bringing the courts closer to the people with the introduction of “mobile courts.”
Consul General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. (L) and Chancellor and Mrs. Robert Birgeneau (R) lead the officials in congratulating Chief Justice Puno.
Chief Justice Puno was also feted to an award luncheon in his honor during which he presented his lecture on entitled “Protecting and Enhancing the Three Generations of Human Rights.” UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau University and Philippine Consul General in San Francisco Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. led several officials in congratulating the Chief Justice.
Chief Justice Puno with Atty, Johhny de Castro, Doctor of Laws student at UC Berkeley who nominated the Chief Justice for the award.