Words by Lucky Chan
Late last year, Atty. Antonio A. Ligon realized this as he was bestowed the highest award being given by the Provincial Government of Bulacan to those who excelled in their respective field of endeavor, the “ Dangal ng Lipi” award.
“Dangal ng Lipi sa Larangan ng Paglilingkod Pampamayanan 2019” was given to Atty. Ligon by the Province of Bulacan last September 15, 2019 at The Pavilion, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center, Malolos, Bulacan by the Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando.
“I feel a deep sense of gratitude and honored to have been chosen as “Dangal ng Lipi” awardee” , says Atty. Ligon of the recognition.
A consistent Dean’s Lister, young Antonio Ligon, obtained his degree in Liberal Arts-Commerce (LIA-COM), major in Applied Economics & Accounting as a college scholar from the De La Salle University (DLSU) in 1983. He was also recognized as the Most Outstanding Student Legislative Council Representative by the DLSU.
He completed his Bachelor of Laws degree as a college scholar, from Ateneo de Manila University. After taking his oath as a lawyer, he was appointed and served as the youngest Executive Director of the of Integrated Bar of the Philippines in 1990. He was elected Chairman of BONIFACIO (Brotherhood of Nationalistic Involved and Free Attorneys to Combat Injustice and Oppression), an organization of lawyers based In Makati City .
In 1996, he became a member of Japan’s Association for Overseas Technical Scholars, with his focus on environmental law and he took up the Strategic Public Sector Negotiation Program of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, sent as a scholar by Provincial Government of Bulacan, where he served as Minority Floor Leader of the Provincial Board from 2001 to 2004. In 2013, he finished Master of Laws in San Beda College.
His commitment to education still unwavering even after having obtained these academic degrees. Atty. Ligon held teaching posts at the Bulacan State University, as a professorial lecturer on public administration, and later in DLSU, as assistant professor on commercial laws and taxation. He served as Chairman of Commercial Law Department and the Graduate School Coordinator of DLSU-RVR College of Business. He continues his professorial teaching at the DLSU College of Law, RVR College of Business, Graduate School of Business. He has also written in the Philippine Lawyers Review and various research publications in different subjects such as: “The Inequitable appeal in Labor Proceedings”, “Is the Passport subject to Confiscation?” and “The South China Sea Conumdrum”
While still in the academe, Atty. Antonio A. Ligon maintained his practice of the legal profession in the fields of corporate, environmental, intellectual property, and taxation laws. He is currently the managing partner of Ligon Solis Mejia & Florendo Law firm where he has served as counsel to a wide range of clients. In 2001, he was an assisting counsel for the House Panel of Prosecutors in the impeachment trial of former President Joseph Estrada. He is the external legal counsel of SEAOIL Philippines Inc., the country’s largest independent oil company. He is also vice president for legal and operations of King’s Safety Net Inc., the leading distributor firm of safety equipment in the Philippines. He appeared in multi-media as legal counsel/spokesperson and independent director for Hacienda Luisita Inc., as co-counsel and spokesperson of fisherfolks in relation to the biggest oil spill in the country, the Guimaras oil spill.
Happily married to Jacqueline Ines Ligon for over 27 years now, they are blessed with three children, Juan Antonio (Ton) , Jama and Janina.
Born and raised in San Miguel Bulacan, to parents of very humble beginnings, his late father, Maximo Ligon, was a truck driver and mechanic. His mother, Angelina, was a sari sari store keeper, who just turned 80 this January 2020. Atty. Ligon adds “they both just finished elementary grade. So, I told myself, after finishing elementary grade in public school, I’ll aim to go to college and finish two courses so i can give them as a gift 2 diplomas. then on my own I searched for a university that offers 2 degrees (with scholarship, of course), I saw the Lia-Com program of DLSU. At first my mother was against it because her idea of La Salle is ” pang mayaman” , but I told her there is scholarship plus bagay ako dun pang ‘mestizo”.
Atty. Ligon recounts “When I graduated from La Salle of Lia-Com, I fulfilled my dream of offering my two college diploma for each one of them , since they never experience going to college”
Atty. Ligon further revealed that “I was actually being nominated 2 or 3 years ago by one of the provincial government employee but I refused because I thought that there were others who are more deserving of the award. “This time I agreed to provide the necessary information the award giving bodies needed, so when Gov Daniel Fernando wrote and congratulated me I told myself “this is it”!
At present he is the OPM director of DLSU. He contributes to public service and social action by providing free legal advice over nationwide radio and tv program such as RHTV and DWIZ 882 Philippines.
Article originally published in Vol. 18 No. 1 of AnimoMagazine.