Ferdinand Casis

Hall of FAME



Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panlegal

Atty. Ferdinand M. Casis, fondly called “Joy” by friends, graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University (B.S. Management Engineering) in 1981. From a myriad of options available to him at that time, he chose an extraordinary path and worked as a labor organizer at the Ateneo Workers' College, then at Caritas Manila. After witnessing the arrest of laborers and understanding their need for legal representation, he took up Law. He was a labor organizer and law student at the same time, and passed the 1986 Bar examinations. He was still a very young lawyer when he co-founded the Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panlegal (SALIGAN) in 1987, to provide free legal assistance and advocate for the rights of the basic sectors. He helped in coalition-building towards the formation of the Alternative Law Group (ALG) in the early 1990s, and also headed a Project to promote popular democracy and voters’ education in the run-up to the 1992 elections.

People know Joy as a quiet man. His career history speaks volumes about this quietness. He sought no grand titles, no awards to make him stand out. Joy just did what he felt was his job: to do his best to serve in whatever capacity and in whatever avenue he had. His portrait shows a humble man doing ordinary things. A man so humble, he saw nothing extraordinary about living his life for his advocacies. A man who quietly spent his entire adult life helping those in need, and teaching others to do the same. That is what was extraordinary about Joy -- his commitment to his cause, and the fact that he thought his extraordinary level of commitment is ordinary. Joy was taken from this life too soon, just a few days after turning 61. He left the way he lived his life: quietly, but leaving a long shadow of love and caring for the people whose lives he touched.