Ryan Hartzell C. Balisacan

Field of Study / Research: LLM Criminal Law & Procedure

Program: Fulbright - Philippine Program - Students


Philippine Affiliation: Office of the Ombudsman, Quezon City

U.S. Affiliation: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Mr. Balisacan is currently serving as a Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer at the Office of the Ombudsman. He is also an Assistant Professorial Lecturer in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at the University of the East College of Law and a Lecturer in Legal Bibliography at the University of the Philippines College of Law. Several of his works have been published in the Philippine Law Journal, the Ateneo Law Journal and the Philippine Journal of Public Administration.

Mr. Balisacan earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, cum laude, from the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2005 and was admitted to the University of the Philippines College of Law on the same year. During law school, he received various scholarships, worked as a Research Associate at the Institute of Human Rights of the University of the Philippines Law Center, served two consecutive terms as Vice Chair of the Philippine Law Journal Editorial Board, and was made team captain of the Stetson Moot Court team. In 2009, he received his Juris Doctor degree, ranking sixth in his class, and was awarded the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence and the Araceli T. Baviera Prize in Civil Law. In 2017, he earned the degree of Master of Public Administration, with specialization in Public Fiscal Administration, also from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. One of his term papers as a Public Administration student was published in the Philippine Journal of Public Administration, while his case study won First Place (Professional Category) in the 2016 Research Colloquium and Paper Competitions sponsored by the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance.

After commencing his legal practice as a Litigation Associate at Villaraza Cruz Marcelo and Angangco, Mr. Balisacan served for two years in the Department of Justice as an Associate Prosecution Attorney until he joined the Office of the Ombudsman in 2013. Throughout his career, Mr. Balisacan has been involved in various justice reform projects, rendered legal opinion on criminal justice matters, and recommended the indictment of several government officials involved in corrupt activities. He was part of the legal team who litigated, before the Supreme Court, a case which eventually led to the abandonment of a decades-old jurisprudential doctrine that had been used by public officials to shield them from accountability. Currently, Mr. Balisacan is currently assisting in, among others, the trial of the “Pork Barrel Scam” cases – considered one of the biggest corruption cases in Philippine history – as well as the case involving the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of a top official of the Philippine judiciary.

For more than half a decade, Mr. Balisacan has been with the prosecution service and has been engaging with the broader criminal justice system as a frontline prosecutor, policy scholar and academic. He plans to one day enter the judiciary and to continue teaching for the rest of his professional career. Owing to his constant exposure to the ills that pervade the criminal justice system in the country, Mr. Balisacan hopes to continue honing his research interests in criminal law and procedure, as well as in criminal justice policy and administration, in order to contribute to concrete reforms that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of criminal justice processes and enhance access to justice of marginalized sectors.

1. Hyper-Presidentialism in Philippine Budgeting: Toward a Political Theory of the Budget Using Insights from a Post-Mortem Examination of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (Philippine Journal of Public Administration, Volume 59, No. 1, January-June 2015)

2. Towards an Accountability Framework for the Exercise of Prosecutorial Discretion in Plea Bargaining (Ateneo Law Journal, Volume 59, No. 2, September 2014)

3. Harmonizing Biodiversity Conservation and the Human Right to Livelihood: Towards a Viable Model for Sustainable Community-Based Ecotourism Using Lessons from the Donsol Whale Shark Project (Ateneo Law Journal, Volume 57, No. 2, September 2012)

4. Claiming Personal Space in a Globalized World: Contextual and Paradigm Shifts in the Delimitation of the Right to Privacy (Philippine Law Journal, Vol. 82, No. 3, March 2008)

5. Towards Recognizing and Accommodating Differentiation Within the Legal Profession: A Critique of the Code of Professional Responsibility's Treatment of the Non-Litigation Practice of Law (Philippine Law Journal, Vol. 81, No. 2, December 2006)