Leonen to grace Baguio’s 104th founding anniversary-A A +A
Friday, August 23, 2013
MARVIC Mario Victor Famorca Leonen, the Baguio boy who led the government in successfully sealing a framework agreement that gave fresh hopes for lasting peace in war-torn Mindanao, is coming home to deliver his message on the 104th founding anniversary of his city on September 1.
This was announced by city councilor Elmer Datuin, chair of the Baguio Day observance who said Leonen, now an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, had texted his acceptance as foundation anniversary speaker.
Prior to his appointment as justice of the Supreme Court, Leonen served as chief peace negotiator in the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that resulted in the framework agreement for the establishment of the Bangsamoro political entity to replace the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
Leonen was valedictorian of the St. Louis University Boys high School before graduating magna cum laude in economics from the University of the Philippines. He finished his law at UP in 1987, after which he co-founded the Legla Rights and Natural Resources Center, Inc.-Kasama sa Kalikasan, which focused on providing legal services for upland rural poor and indigenous people's communities.
A master of laws degree holder from Columbia University, he served as faculty member and dean of the College of Law, general counsel and vice-president for legal affairs of UP. Last November 21, President Benigno Aquino III appointed him as the 172nd associate justice of the Supreme Court.
He will be introduced by Datuin during the 104th Baguio charter anniversary program at the newly refurbished Baguio Convention Center.
As traditional highlight of the program, the city will confer the "Outstanding Citizen of Baguio" award to individuals among nominees being screened by the Society of Outstanding Citizens of Baguio for their notable contributions to the development of the city.
Following the program will be the annual parade, the front portion of which will depict the city's history – from its pre-founding years as a settlement of the native Ibaloys to the present dispensation – in a moving pageant being coordinated by the city's schools led by Dr. Elma Dona-al, principal of the Baguio City National High School.
City tourism officer Benny Alhambra said festivities will be ushered in by the presentation of the candidates for "Miss Baguio 2013" during a press conference on August 21, to be followed by the 10th annual HRT Weekend "Celebrating a Decade of Culinary Excellence" on August 24-25.
As in the previous year, the observance will take on a humanitarian dimension with a medical mission being mounted by the city health department in coordination with the various health workers’ groups and civic organizations on August 31 at the Baguio Convention Center.
Also on tap are a martial arts festival, the Baguio Day golf tournament, a fun-run and a 32-kilometer foot race, "Mr. Baguio" (Nick Domalsin Cup) body-building contest, 1st Baguio Day badminton invitational, batted ball tournament, and a Baguio Day photo exhibit.
"Clean and Greeen Baguio” activities, including tree-planting, are being arranged by the city environment and parks management office. (Ramon Dacawi)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 24, 2013.