DEAN EMERSON B. AQUENDE

Dean Emerson B. Aquende assumed the chairmanship of the Legal Education Board on 22 January 2016. Chairman Aquende obtained the degree of Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Major in Legal Management, from the De La Salle University in 1991 and the degree of Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines in 1995. He was admitted to the bar the next year. Chairman Aquende was an associate professor at the Aquinas University College of Law from 2000 to 2014 and served as the college of law dean from 2000 to 2014. He previously served as an assistant professor at the College of Arts and Sciences from 1997 to 2000 and as the Vice President for the Professional Schools from 2009 to 2014.

Chairman Aquende was a long-time member and officer of the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS). He became a member in 2000. He assumed the following positions of responsibility in the PALS: Vice President for Luzon from 2007 to 2013; Secretary General from 2012 to 2013; Executive Vice President from 2013 to 2014.

Chairman Aquende is also an active member and officer of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. From 2013 to 2015, he was the President of the Albay Chapter and a Deputy Governor for the Bicolandia Region. In 2015 he became the Governor of the Bicolandia Region and the Chair of the Committee on Bar Discipline.

Chairman Aquende was born on 4 May 1971 in Legazpi City, Albay. His parents are Eumeriano A. Aquende and Pilar B. Aquende. Chairman Aquende is married to Atty. Joan Elizabeth L. Aquende, the mayor of Municipality of Castilla, Sorsogon. They are blessed with two children, Eimer and Emmie Juliana.

Chairman Aquende may be relatively young in years but he brings a wealth of experience in practice and the academe to the Board not to mention his zeal and dedication to the tasks and challenges facing the Board. With Chairman Aquende at the helm, one can rest assured that the Board will continue to build upon the legacy of the founding Chair and members of the Board.

ZENAIDA V. NECESITO-ELEPAÑO

Court Administrator Zenaida V. Necesito-Elepaño (ret.) assumed the position of Board Member, representing the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, on 11 November 2014.CA Elepaño obtained her Bachelor of Arts, Major in Political Science, summa cum laude, from the University of Sto. Tomas in 1963. She graduated as the class valedictorian. She then went on to obtain her Bachelor of Laws Degree, cum laude, from the same university in 1967. Again she graduated on top of her class. CA Elepaño was a university scholar all throughout her law school years and was the editor-in- chief of the Law Review of the UST Faculty of Civil Law in 1967.

CA Elepaño has completed the academic requirements for a masteral degree in political science, sans thesis. CA Elepaño was appointed to the Regional Trial Court of Kalookan City in 1988 and served in the bench until 1995. She was the Executive Judge of the RTC Kalookan City for two terms. She was awarded the Justice Cayetano Arellano Award for Judicial Excellence in 1994 as outstanding RTC Judge by the Foundation for Judicial Excellence.

In 1995 CA Elepaño was appointed as Deputy Court Administrator, Supreme Court, and in 2001 she was promoted to Senior Deputy Court Administrator. In 2007 she was appointed as Court Administrator, Supreme Court, becoming the first and so far the only woman to hold this position, a post from which she retired in 2008 completing two decades of exemplary service in the judiciary.

CA Elepaño has extensive experience in legal academe. She taught law courses at the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters for 34 years and at the Faculty of Civil Law for ten years. At the Faculty of Civil Law, CA Elepaño taught civil law subjects such as Persons and Family Law, Obligations and Contracts, Property, and Conflict of Laws. She also taught at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) College of Law and at the University of the Philippines College of Law. She was a pre-bar review lecturer at UST, PLM, UP, FEU, and other law review centers. She also taught at the San Beda Graduate School of Law and is a professorial lecturer at the graduate school of law of PLM.

CA Elepaño is a renowned expert and advocate of women’s rights and gender sensitivity in this regard she has been invited to numerous forums for both here and abroad as a resource person by among others the United Nations and the European Union. In the Board, CA Elepaño has campaigned for a gender-sensitive legal education and for the inclusion of courses on gender-sensitivity in the law curriculum.

CA Elepaño is a three-time bar examiner: 1996 in Remedial Law, 2006 in Legal Ethics, and 2009 in Civil Law. She was the chairperson of the IBP Committee on Legal Education and Bar Administration from 2011 to 2013.

JOSEFE C. SORRERA-TY 

Commissioner Josefe C. Sorrera-Ty was appointed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on August 5, 2019.  She represents in the Legal Education Board (LEB) the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS).

She began her legal career as a public attorney before moving to private practice in 2000 as Managing Partner of the Libra Law Firm in Butuan City.  At the time of her appointment, Comm. Sorrera-Ty was the long-time Dean of the College of Law and Policy of the Father Saturnino Urios University in Butuan City, where she held various positions, starting as a part-time accounting instructor, then later Human Resources Management and Development Officer and Legal Counsel.  As a law dean with a progressive view to legal education, she represented the country in the US-Philippines Exchange Program on Governance, Criminal Justice, and Environment in Michigan, USA in 2009; US Learning Visit on Legal Aid Clinics in 2018 with US State Department in 2018; Conference on Clinical Legal Education and Workshop for New Law School Teachers in 2019 with the American Association of Law Schools.

Aside from being a lawyer, Comm. Sorrera-Ty is also a prominent certified public accountant.  She led the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) as National President from 2012 to 2013.  She later became the Secretary General of the ASEAN Federation of Accountants Institute from 2014 to 2015.  Before assuming her current position, she was an active member of the Committee for the Clergy of the Diocese of Butuan and sat as the Senate Representative in the CARAGA State University Board of Regents.

A gifted student, she graduated salutatorian in grade school and valedictorian in high school.  She later earned from the University of the Philippines in 1990 a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accountancy degree, and, subsequently, in 1996 a Bachelor of Laws degree.  She obtained her professional license as an accountant and as a lawyer in 1990 and 1997, respectively.

Commissioner Sorrera-Ty was born in Butuan City to parents Jose Vargas Sorrera and Fe Falar Cemine.  She is married to businessman Robert Ty, with whom she has four (4) children.

ABELARDO T. DOMONDON

Professor Abelardo T. Domondon represents the active law practitioners in the Legal Education Board. He was sworn into office on June 29, 2018 by Associate Justice (now Chief Justice) Lucas P. Bersamin.

A bar topnotcher, who ranked 4th in the 1985 bar examinations, Commissioner Domondon is a multi-talented individual. He is an economist by training, an accountant by choice, and a lawyer by profession. He is also a licensed customs broker and passed the licensure examinations for foreign service staff officer. Widely known in legal education circles, he is a law professor, a bar review lecturer, a law book author, and a bar examiner. He was a member of the faculties of Adamson University, Centro Escolar University, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila,San Sebastian College-Recoletos, University of the East, and University of Santo Tomas. He is a sought-after pre-bar reviewer specializing in Tax and Ethics, a Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) lecturer, and a reviewer for accountancy licensure examinations. Among his works as a book author are “90 Years of the Bar and Beyong in Legal and Judicial Ethics”, “100 Years of the Bar and Beyond in Remedial Law”, “Effective Bar Review Methods”, a five-volume book in taxation, “Guide to Criminal Law”, “Customs Valuation”, and a number of books in accounting and auditing. For his expertise, he was selected by the Supreme Court as the taxation law examiner in the 2011 Bar Examinations.

Comm. Domondon is a towering figure in the accounting profession as well. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Accountancy, and was later Chairman of the Continuing Professional Education Council of CPAs. His contributions to the accountancy field has earned him the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Outstanding CPA for International Professional Development twice in 1996 and 1997, the CPA Heritage Awards in 2000, the Philippine Association of Board Examiners Gold Award in 2003, and the PICPA Honorary Lifetiime Member Award in 2006. In 2011, he was inducted to the PICPA Accountancy Hall of Fame.

His professional involvement includes in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, PICPA, Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc., the Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines, and the Philippine Association of Law Professors.

To his credits, Comm. Domondon has earned successive degrees in Bachelor of Arts (Economics), Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Bachelor of Laws, Master of Arts (Economics), Master of Laws, and is a candidate for Doctor in Civil Law. He was born on August 17, 1940 and is married to Veneracion Valdez Domondon.

CATHERINE P. PEDROSA 

Commissioner Catherine P. Pedrosa was a junior law student when appointed the representative of the law students sector in the Legal Education Board on June 26, 2018.

Comm. Pedrosa is a consistent honor student. She was awarded 1st Honorable Mention in primary school, Salutatorian in high school, and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accountancy degree from UP in 2008. She finished the Juris Doctor degree in June, 2019 in the same national university as a member of the Order of Purple Feather, the law honor society in UP.

While she was the youngest among the LEB commissioners, Comm. Pedrosa comes with her own professional credentials. She is a certified public accountant and was the Chief Operating Officer of Multi-Forms Corporation at the time of her appointment to the LEB. She gained valuable experiences as a law student by interning at the Philippine Senate in the Office of Senator Juan Edgardo M. Angara, and later working as a research assistant in the Institute of Government and Law Reform of the UP Law Center. She is a member of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Portia Sorrority.