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Poll exec unveils book on Filipino thinkers

Posted on: March 5, 2009

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By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—An official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) launched a book on legal philosophy, featuring contemporary Filipino thinkers.

Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said the book “Grow in Grace and Govern in Wisdom” is a compilation of readings and articles of “great Filipino thinkers” together with classical philosophers, such as Plato.

“I want our Filipino students to read about the local indigenous Filipino philosophers who have great intentions for our country, who love our country and have shown noble acts of patriotism,” said Sarmiento.

Sarmiento said the book was formerly a syllabus for a law subject he teaches at San Beda College.

He gathered the materials throughout the course of his work as a lawyer and public servant.

He said he hopes the book would contribute to the development of a new paradigm that “law is a potent instrument to build a nation of justice and peace.”

“This book aims to redefine legal philosophy from a purely and theoretical subject to one that is developmental, socially engaged and transformative,” he said.

He said while most books on legal philosophy feature European thoughts, Filipinos should also be exposed to the writing of local philosophers.

Sarmiento said Filipino thinkers also offer writings that are “insightful and very relevant to Philippine realities as they mirror the common aspirations of Filipino people.”

When asked to pick his favorite part of the book, he picked an article by his former mentor Jose Diokno: “He [Diokno] said in his article, we have a new concept of justice among Filipinos–justice that seeks to uphold dignity, human rights and the common good.”

While written mainly for law students, Sarmiento said the book is “for all Filipinos who strive to make a difference for the country and those who struggle to build a just and proud nation.”

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