Scholars present research on law and order during Spanish times

| Written by Jo. Florendo B. Lontoc

A fully-packed auditorium, mostly with students of history, greets conference speakers. Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO.

 

Twenty-three works of research and two keynote lectures were presented at the 17th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Conference on October 3 and 4, 2019, shedding light on law and order during Spanish times.

The annual conference held this year in the National Institute of Science and Mathematics Education Auditorium in UP Diliman had the theme, “The Pursuit of Colonial Oder: Interrogating Crime, Law, and Justice in Spanish Philippines”.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor Leonen and Prof. Florentino Rodao of Universidad Complutense de Madrid were the keynote lecturers. They shared  their ideas on decolonizing law and social order.

 

Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen appreciates the space given him to “step back to reflect upon the praxis that we as judges and justices engage in”, with a paper, “Reflections on the Postcolonial Constructions of Legal Text: An Invitation to a more Heterodoxical Interpretation as a Challenge to the Hegemony in the Academe”. Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO.

 

Leonen spoke of: lingering legal fictions subordinating groups of people in the way they have been made “caricatures”; legal education contributing to a trend of “disempowering pragmatism”’ and, colonial vestiges in the Philippine legal system, among others.

 

Prof. Florentino Rodao of Universidad Complutense de Madrid takes the opportunity to invite scholars to an international Philippine Studies conference in Alicante, Spain in the next year, before presenting his study on “race of the Philippines”. Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO.

 

Rodao traced how Spain’s view of race had shifted until Spanish settlers began using biological determinism in the 19th century to stake their role in society, consequently fueling nationalism among Filipinos and anticolonialism among the locally born Spanish.

The conference, which is open to scholars from the country and abroad, is organized by the UP Department of History, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), and the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines.

 

Top officials of the organizing agencies: the University of the Philippines; the National Historical Commission of the Philippines; and, the Spanish Embassy to the Philippines, together with the keynote speakers, faculty members of the UP Diliman Department of History, and guests from the Instituto Cervantes. Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO.

 

The participants were welcomed by UP President Danilo Concepcion, who gave a message along with Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Moragas Sanchez, NHCP Chair Rene Escalante, and UP Diliman College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Dean Maria Bernadette Abrera.

Concepcion made mention of the 17 years of the conference elevating the conference to the status of institution.

 

UP President Danilo Concepcion speaks about Spain’s “systematized and unified” laws for its colonial dominion over its colonies, adding depth and breadth to the study of laws at present. Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO.

 

Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Moragas Sanchez mentions his personal connection to the Philippines and his friends calling him “El Filipino”. He stressed the importance of a balanced study of the effects of the Spanish rule of law. Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO.

 

UP College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Dean Maria Bernadette Abrera speaks of the conference celebrating its own historical landmarks from its 17 years, and going beyond the “former caricatures and platitudes” in Philippine-Spanish relations. Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO.

 

National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chair Rene Escalante highlights the importance of the theme–the arrival of the Spaniards being integral in the development and practice of law in the Philippines. Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO.
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