Who is Reynato Puno?
Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno A MAN OF LAW, prose and religion, Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno exemplifies the modern Filipino intellectual.
His words have always had a profound effect on his readers. In describing Chief Justice Puno’s mastery of pen, a colleague wrote:
Like a trained surgeon, he uses his pen with laser-like precision to separate and excise fabrication from truth and pretension from reality. In the process, he gives life to populist causes and libertarian ideals. Daring, gutsy, and erudite, he – like Justice Holmes – oftentimes wages lonely battles against conventional wisdom with his stirring dissents and insightful opinions. (Panganiban, Justice and Faith, p. 142)
He began to display his writing prowess in school by winning the much coveted editorship of the University of the Philippines’ Philippine Collegian in 1961. While in law school, he served as Chairman of the Law Register, and Recent Documents Editor of the Philippine Law Journal of the UP College of Law. In recognition of his campus leadership, he was given the Outstanding Award for Excellence and Leadership by the Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity for the years 1960, 1961 and 1962.
In 1962, Chief Justice Puno obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Jurisprudence and Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of the Philippines (UP). In 1966, he went to the United States for his post-graduate studies. He was a grantee of a full scholarship given by the Academy of American Law for a degree of Master of Comparative Laws at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He was also awarded full scholarship by the Walter Perry Johnson Foundation for a degree of Master of Laws at the University of California in Berkeley, California. He was also given a tuition scholarship by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, from where he finished all academic requirements for the degree of Doctor of Juridical Science Degree. He was given the Doctor of Humanities degree (honoris causa) by the Philippine Wesleyan Univeristy in 1994. Justice Puno finished the degree of Master of Comparative Laws with high honors and as valedictorian of a class consisting of 23 graduate scholars from various parts of the world.