SANDIGANBAYAN Justice Diosdado Peralta and 23 other alumni, including a medical-oriented family, received the Outstanding Thomasian Alumni Awards (TOTAL) for excellence in their respective fields last August 2 at the UST Central Seminary Gym.

An alumnus of the Faculty of Civil Law of 1979, Peralta received the TOTAL award in Law and Justice.

Last March 28, Pres. Gloria Arroyo appointed Peralta as chief of Sandiganbayan after its former head, Teresita de Castro, took the Supreme Court associate justice post.

Hailed as an outstanding citizen of Laoag City, Peralta’s expertise in criminal laws made him an in-demand bar reviewer and professor.

Among the awards he reaped are the Ulirang Ama Sectoral Awardee for Law and Judiciary in 2006, Chief Justice Ramon Avaceña Award for Outstanding Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge in 2002, and Special Centennial Award in the field of Criminal Law in 2001.

Peralta is deeply involved in the academe as a lecturer in criminal law, criminal procedure, and remedial law. He is one of the first lecturers invited by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-California Chapter for its mandatory continuing legal education.

Peralta is an advocate of capital punishment who, together with his peers, founded the “Guillotine Club” during his stint as an RTC judge.

Included also in the TOTAL awardee roster is former Varsitarian editor in chief Regina Bautista-Navarrete, who received the TOTAL award for Management.

An alumna of the Faculty of Engineering, Bautista-Navarrete sat at the helm of Varsitarian in 1984 to 1985. She finished Industrial Engineering in 1985 and later worked for Unilever Philippines, Red Ribbon, Greenwich Pizza, Inc., among others.

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She is now president and general manager of Jollibee Food Corporation.

The Henson family was hailed as the Thomasian Family Awardee. Husband and wife Ruben and Josefina and their two sons, Ruben III and Raoul, was honored for establishing the non-profit Clinica Henson Eye and Ear Research Foundation. Josefina, though, is not a physician but an artist and a painter.

Alumni Affairs Director Evelyn Songco said that TOTAL Awards aims to serve as an inspiration to young Thomasians to strive harder in their fields.

“We want the TOTAL awardees to be the people our young students would look up to, because eventually, the (students) will be the ones to enter TOTAL’s list,” Songco told the Varsitarian.

In his message, UST Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. described the TOTAL awardees as tributes to UST’s “eminence as formator of professionals who contributed remarkably to the nation’s development.”

“The University is truly honored that from her bosom, her alumni have merged to become men and women who have carved great niches in their profession,” De la Rosa said.

The TOTAL Awards, which was started in 1993, gives credit to alumni who contributed to the society, either on a national or international level.

The other honorees include: Ireneo San Agustin Robles, Jr. (Thomasian Meritorious Achievement Award); Liberty Esquivas-Gamboa (Service); Abelardo Tolentino Jr. (Architecture); Carlos Alindada, (Accounting); Rimando Saguin (Community Service); Fe Aldave-Yap, (Education); Ferdinand Tumpalan, (Engineering Practice); Florante Cruz, (Entrepreneurship); Nelia Buenaflor (Government and Public Service); Leila Monserrat-Florento, (Health Allied); Federico M. Macaranas (Humanitarian Service); Mercedes Berenguer-Topacio (Interior Design); Jose Sison (Media); Gloria Dizon-Coronel (Performing Arts); Trinidad Palad-Trinidad (Science); Joel Christopher Remandaban (Technology); Jose Datuin (Visual Arts) and Jeffrey Tarayao (Young Thomasian Achiever).

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Prominent former recipients of the TOTAL Awards were President Diosdado Macapagal, Supreme Court Justice Andres Narvasa, Philippine Daily Inquirer founder Eugenia Apostol, National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose, Jollibee president Tony Tan Caktiong, Press Secretary Anthony Golez, and former Varsitarian editor in chief Victor Emmanuel Carmelo Nadera Jr. D. C. P. Dandan

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