The time has come to pay tribute to a man who may be out of sight but not out of the minds of the people he came in contact with, people who trust him, people who believe in him, and people whose lives he has touched.
Here is a man who actualizes the dictum: “To be immortal is to just do good!”
From the time he graduated salutatorian in high school, Eleuterio “Terry” Chiu already got the attention of Dr. Vicente G. Sinco — founder of Foundation University, former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law, and also its former UP president — who saw in this young man who hails from a small town of Siaton, Negros Oriental the potential for greatness.
Terry Chiu went on, excelled in his academics in college days, and as editor of the school paper, becoming one of the best-remembered students of now FU President Dr. Mira D. Sinco.
Terry Chiu eventually graduated cum laude from the FU College of Law and Jurisprudence. On hindsight, his destiny was carved out from then on.
“How does the grass give thanks to the sun?,” says an old Chinese sage.
Judge Eleuterio Chiu just stayed on course, his strength of character. The choice he made was the straight, narrow, and difficult path, which eventually led him back to the FU College of Law after he retired as Judge.
President Mira Sinco lost no time in recruiting him to this Alma Mater, knowing him to be a man of principles. He did not need the thankless job of lending his name and prestige to a struggling college. He simply is just the man who never forgets where he came from, and who shows it in his simple way. He went on to recruit faculty members, admitted quality students, and gradually regained the focus of the College on competence and excellence.
Every FU student know by heart Dr. Vicente Sinco’s motto etched in the wall of a building: Nemo dat quod non habet. (You cannot give what you do not have!)
Judge Chiu simply and generously gave what he has, for the love for imparting knowledge, and for his utmost love of the legal profession.
Professionally, many legal practitioners continue to hold Judge Chiu in high esteem because as what our very close friend, the late Gov. Dodo Macias used to recount, the Judge would refuse even a close associate who approached him for assistance: ”Terry is hopeless! He always abides by the rule of law, without fear or favor!”
On a personal level, my husband Frank can also attest to this, as the Judge would always inhibit himself when our Yap Law Office would have cases in his sala.
That reputation is rare and well-deserved. That is why we say: “Judge, never regret growing old. It’s a privilege denied to many!”
A former Rotary Club president, Terry Chiu has always been active in civic outreach, medical missions, and he has always shared his blessings through the years.
Those who know him celebrated with him when his son Ricky Chiu topped the 1984 Bar as Number One. Judge Chiu has earned many awards, among them, Centennial Judge in 1998. Those two feats are hard to be replicated.
Judge Terry is lucky to have Lily as the “wind beneath his wings”, his children and grandchildren who are all professionals, lawyers, dentist, accountants, engineers, nurses.
Enjoy your retirement and good luck, Judge! The best years are yet to come!
Author’s email: [email protected]