“No law school can claim to be worth its salt without a good law library.”
Thus declared Dean Joaquin E. San Diego of the School of Law and Governance (SLG) in his welcome remarks during the signing of the Deed of Donation and Acceptance of law books from the Fider family last December 15 at the ALB Dining Hall.
The special ceremony formalized the donation of over 800 books from the law library of the late Assemblyman Alejandro “Alex” A. Fider. Fider’s widow, Mrs. Milagros Sarmiento Fider, signed the deed together with UA&P President Dr. Jose Maria A. Mariano. Close family and friends of the Fiders were on hand to witness the event.
Included in the donation are several hundred volumes of Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA), Philippine and US jurisprudence, law dictionaries and digests as well as textbooks on bar subjects and law practice.
Present during the signing of the deed were three of the Fider children who also pursued careers in the legal profession – Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes, Atty. Alex Erlito “Lito” S. Fider, and Atty. Alex Ferdinand “Ferdi” S. Fider – as well as SLG Operations Committee member Dr. Abigail de Leon, and Atty. Rufino Policarpio, a member of the faculty at the School of Management.
Dean San Diego conveyed his gratitude to the Fider family, citing their many contributions to the university. Atty. Ferdi Fider was part of a committee that proposed the establishment of a law school in UA&P in 2003.
He also recognized the contributions of the Fiders as “both an encouragement and a challenge for us at the School of Law and Governance to work harder.” Describing the Fider donation as a nurturing help to the “bunso” of the community of law schools in the country, Dean San Diego took the opportunity to define the vision of the SLG and its position as a new and fresh voice in legal education.
“We stand in awe as we gaze at the achievements of a UP College of Law or of an Ateneo Law School or, for that matter, of any of the top law schools in the country. We will try to emulate these achievements. We will try to emulate but not imitate. UA&P is not and will never be a UP, is not and will never be an Ateneo, is not and will never be a La Salle, a San Beda, etc. UA&P, and its School of Law and Governance, will remain what it is: a small school, with a very individualized and very personal approach to education, as evidenced, for example by its mentoring program, and a perspective – in social issues, in matters of law – that, while being deeply Christian, is also eminently lay.”
Speaking on behalf of her children, Mrs. Fider explained how her husband painstakingly built the library, from his early career as a young lawyer and on though his years in public service — as a Fiscal of Quezon City, Vice Mayor of Caloocan City, Court of First Instance Judge, Mayor of Caloocan City and as a member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa representing Metro Manila.
“We hope that your students will love these books the way my husband loved them. We also believe that this is the most fitting place for the books. May they find a home here. More importantly, may they have meaning and purpose here (in UA&P). In that way, my husband will also be happy and will see that we have brought honor to him too through his books,” Mrs. Fider said.
Students of the pioneer batch of the Juris Doctor program met with Mrs. Fider after the signing ceremony to express appreciation for the new addition to the SLG resource collection.