Lawyer Raphael Pangalangan new Inquirer columnist

MANILA, Philippines — The Opinion section welcomes a new column today, “Just Thinking,” by lawyer Raphael A. Pangalangan.

Pangalangan has an impressive resume: he earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Philippines and master’s in human rights from the University of Oxford, and completed his postgraduate law degree at the University of Cambridge. He was a prosecution officer at the Office of the Ombudsman between 2017 and 2018, recommending the resolution of over 100 administrative and criminal cases for graft, corruption, and breach of public trust.

He is currently a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School where he presented comparative law research on vaccine equity frameworks in Southeast Asia and conducted research on environmental justice and corporate liability regimes, among others.

Double entendre

Pangalangan will be writing about social, economic, and related issues. “‘Just Thinking’ [is] a double entendre for what we do and what we should seek to do: To think, and to think justly. The column keeps a close ear to undertones.”

He assures that his weekly contribution to the discussion of national issues will not be entirely legalese for the regular readers. “It isn’t necessarily about law, politics, or philosophy, but their interface. It’s about abstracting quiet implications of contemporary issues, acknowledging what they say, and appreciating what they say about us,” he explained.

Pangalangan has previously contributed commentaries to the Opinion section prior to his official inclusion in the roster of the Inquirer’s esteemed columnists, including other legal luminaries, former Supreme Court chief justice Artemio V. Panganiban and Joel Ruiz Butuyan, his former boss at the Butuyan & Rayel Law Offices.

“It is an immense honor to be joining PDI. The Inquirer has a long track record of attracting intellectual juggernauts to its roster. I am gratified to find myself among its ranks, and to share this stage with no less than the likes of Chief Justice AVP — himself a guiding light in the field of law and a mentor to me in both academia and advocacy. I truly am standing on the shoulders of giants,” Pangalangan said.

Read his first column: “The unbearable whiteness of international law.