Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Overview
 
An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines is one of 15 members of the Philippine Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...

, the highest court in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. The Chief Justice
Chief Justice of the Philippines
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines presides over the Supreme Court of the Philippines and is the highest judicial officer of the government of the Philippines...

 presides over the High Court, but carries only 1 of the 15 votes in the court. Traditionally, the Chief Justice is deemed as primus inter pares
Primus inter pares
Primus inter pares is Latin phrase describing the most senior person of a group sharing the same rank or office.When not used in reference to a specific title, it may indicate that the person so described is formally equal, but looked upon as an authority of special importance by their peers...

("first among equals") among the Justices.

Until 1973, only men were appointed as Associate Justices to the Court. Cecilia Muñoz-Palma
Cecilia Muñoz-Palma
Cecilia Muñoz-Palma was a Filipino jurist and the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the Philippines...

, an appointee of President
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

, was the first woman to sit on the Court.
Encyclopedia
An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines is one of 15 members of the Philippine Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...

, the highest court in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. The Chief Justice
Chief Justice of the Philippines
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines presides over the Supreme Court of the Philippines and is the highest judicial officer of the government of the Philippines...

 presides over the High Court, but carries only 1 of the 15 votes in the court. Traditionally, the Chief Justice is deemed as primus inter pares
Primus inter pares
Primus inter pares is Latin phrase describing the most senior person of a group sharing the same rank or office.When not used in reference to a specific title, it may indicate that the person so described is formally equal, but looked upon as an authority of special importance by their peers...

("first among equals") among the Justices.

Until 1973, only men were appointed as Associate Justices to the Court. Cecilia Muñoz-Palma
Cecilia Muñoz-Palma
Cecilia Muñoz-Palma was a Filipino jurist and the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the Philippines...

, an appointee of President
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

, was the first woman to sit on the Court. Since then, 12 other women have been appointed as Associate Justices of the Supreme Court.

Constitutional requirements and limitations

Under the 1987 Constitution
Constitution of the Philippines
The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the Philippines.The Constitution currently in effect was enacted in 1987, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino, and is popularly known as the "1987 Constitution"...

, the minimum requirements for appointment to the Supreme Court are natural born citizenship
Natural-born citizen
Status as a natural-born citizen of the United States is one of the eligibility requirements established in the United States Constitution for election to the office of President or Vice President...

; 40 years of age; and 15 years or more as a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines. (sec. 7(1), Article VIII) The members of the Court are appointed by the President
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 from a list of at least 3 nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council
Judicial and Bar Council
The Judicial and Bar Council of the Philippines is a constitutionally-created body that recommends appointees for vacancies that may arise in the composition of the Supreme Court and other lower courts.-Composition:...

. (sec. 9, Article VIII) The appointment is not subject to confirmation by Congress
Congress of the Philippines
The Congress of the Philippines is the national legislature of the Republic of the Philippines. It is a bicameral body consisting of the Senate , and the House of Representatives although commonly in the Philippines the term congress refers to the latter.The Senate is composed of 24 senators half...

.

Members of the Court are mandated to retire upon reaching the age of 70. (sec. 11, Article VIII) They may also be removed from office through impeachment
Impeachment
Impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity, the outcome of which, depending on the country, may include the removal of that official from office as well as other punishment....

, which is accomplished through a resolution of impeachment affirmed by a 1/3 vote of all members of the House of Representatives
House of Representatives of the Philippines
The House of Representatives of the Philippines is the lower chamber of the...

 and conviction by 2/3 vote of all members of the Senate
Senate of the Philippines
The Senate of the Philippines is the upper chamber of the bicameral legislature of the Philippines, the Congress of the Philippines...

.

Since 1901, there has always been only one Chief Justice. In contrast, the number of Associate Justices has wildly varied. From the original number of six (1901–1916), this was increased to eight (1916–1935), then to ten (1935–1940). During the years 1940-1945, the membership varied from five to seven. After liberation in 1945, the number was reset to ten, and the current number of fourteen was first set in place with the enactment of the 1973 Constitution
Constitution of the Philippines
The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the Philippines.The Constitution currently in effect was enacted in 1987, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino, and is popularly known as the "1987 Constitution"...

. During the first few months of the Aquino administration, ten Associate Justices sat on the Court, but the appointment of Carolina Griño-Aquino in February 1988 finally restored the number of Associate Justices at fourteen.

Official functions

The cases decided by the Supreme Court involve several classes of disputes. Most prominently, the Court is called upon to exercise the power of judicial review
Judicial review
Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary. Specific courts with judicial review power must annul the acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher authority...

 of presidential or legislative actions. More often, the Court also undertakes appellate review of decisions of the trial courts and the Court of Appeals
Philippine Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals of the Philippines is the Philippines' second highest judicial court, just after the Supreme Court. The court consists of 68 Associate Justices and 1 Presiding Justice...

 in civil and criminal cases. The Court is also tasked with deciding administrative cases involving members and employees of the judiciary and of lawyers belonging to the Philippine Bar. The decisions of the Court become part of the law of the land.

Each Justice carries one vote on the Court which they exercise whether when sitting in Division, or in the full complement of 15 (or "en banc
En banc
En banc, in banc, in banco or in bank is a French term used to refer to the hearing of a legal case where all judges of a court will hear the case , rather than a panel of them. It is often used for unusually complex cases or cases considered to be of greater importance...

"). Since the 1970s, the Supreme Court has sat in three divisions, with five Justices as members of each division. As most Supreme Court cases are decided by the division rather than the en banc, a vote of three Justices sitting in a division is usually sufficient to decide the case. However, the Constitution prescribes instances whereby a case must be decided en banc
En banc
En banc, in banc, in banco or in bank is a French term used to refer to the hearing of a legal case where all judges of a court will hear the case , rather than a panel of them. It is often used for unusually complex cases or cases considered to be of greater importance...

, such as in declaring a law as unconstitutional or when a judicial precedent
Precedent
In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is a principle or rule established in a legal case that a court or other judicial body may apply when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts...

 is overturned. Each vote can be crucial, as recently shown in the 2006 People's Initiative
People's Initiative
People’s Initiative or "PI" is one of the modes in which the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines could be amended. The other two modes are via Constituent Assembly or "Con-Ass" and Constitutional Convention or "Con-Con"; which also allow revisions....

 case (Lambino v. COMELEC), which was decided en banc
En banc
En banc, in banc, in banco or in bank is a French term used to refer to the hearing of a legal case where all judges of a court will hear the case , rather than a panel of them. It is often used for unusually complex cases or cases considered to be of greater importance...

 by an 8-7 vote.

As a case is decided, one justice in the majority is assigned to write the majority opinion
Majority opinion
In law, a majority opinion is a judicial opinion agreed to by more than half of the members of a court. A majority opinion sets forth the decision of the court and an explanation of the rationale behind the court's decision....

 for the Court. Even as these decisions speak in behalf of the Court, the writer of the opinion (known as the "ponente") is strongly identified with the decision, and the body of opinions of each Justice enhances his/her reputation. Many important opinions are analyzed in law school
Law school
A law school is an institution specializing in legal education.- Law degrees :- Canada :...

s and are well-remembered long after the Justice had left the Court. For example, several of the opinions of Associate Justice Jose P. Laurel
Jose P. Laurel
José Paciano Laurel y García was the president of the Republic of the Philippines, a Japanese-sponsored administration during World War II, from 1943 to 1945...

 were crucial in the development of Philippine jurisprudence and are widely read and quoted nearly 70 years after they had been written.

Any other Justice, whether they be in the majority or in the minority, is entitled to write a separate opinion in a case to clarify his/her views, or even to challenge the points raised in the majority opinion
Majority opinion
In law, a majority opinion is a judicial opinion agreed to by more than half of the members of a court. A majority opinion sets forth the decision of the court and an explanation of the rationale behind the court's decision....

. In the 1973 case of Javellana v. Executive Secretary, concerning the ratification of the 1973 Constitution, each Justice chose to write a separate opinion, while more recently, the 2005 decision on the Expanded VAT Law (Abakada v. Executive Secretary) saw 11 separate opinions. The separate opinions of a Justice in the majority is usually known as a "concurring opinion
Concurring opinion
In law, a concurring opinion is a written opinion by one or more judges of a court which agrees with the decision made by the majority of the court, but states different reasons as the basis for his or her decision...

", while one penned by a Justice in the minority is known as a "dissenting opinion
Dissenting opinion
A dissenting opinion is an opinion in a legal case written by one or more judges expressing disagreement with the majority opinion of the court which gives rise to its judgment....

". A Justice who only partially agrees with the majority opinion while disagreeing with portions thereof may even write a "concurring and dissenting opinion".

While these separate opinions do not receive as much public attention as majority opinions, they are usually studied in the legal academe and by other judges. On several occasions, views expressed in a dissenting
Dissenting opinion
A dissenting opinion is an opinion in a legal case written by one or more judges expressing disagreement with the majority opinion of the court which gives rise to its judgment....

 or concurring opinion
Concurring opinion
In law, a concurring opinion is a written opinion by one or more judges of a court which agrees with the decision made by the majority of the court, but states different reasons as the basis for his or her decision...

 were adopted by the Supreme Court in later years. Justice Gregorio Perfecto
Gregorio Perfecto
Gregorio Perfecto was a Filipino journalist, politician and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from 1945 to 1949...

, whose staunch libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 views were out of sync with the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 era, wrote over 140 dissenting opinion
Dissenting opinion
A dissenting opinion is an opinion in a legal case written by one or more judges expressing disagreement with the majority opinion of the court which gives rise to its judgment....

s in just 4 years. Years after his death, some of his views in dissent, such as in Moncado v. People's Court (1948) were adopted by a more liberal Supreme Court.

The rule of seniority

The Associate Justices of the Court are usually ordered according to the date of their appointment. There are no official ramifications as to this ranking, although the order determines the seating arrangement on the bench. Within the discretion of the Court, the ranking may also factor into the composition of the divisions of the Court.

In 1986, the order of seniority within the Court was disturbed upon the assumption into the presidency of Corazon Aquino
Corazon Aquino
Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino was the 11th President of the Philippines and the first woman to hold that office in Philippine history. She is best remembered for leading the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the Philippines...

. President Aquino had sought to reorganize the Court by obtaining the resignation of most of the Associate Justices who had been appointed by Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

, and filling those vacancies with her own choices. Eventually, Aquino chose to re-appoint three Associate Justices, Amuerfina Melencio Herrera, Hugo Gutierrez, Jr. and Nestor Alampay, but did so only after appointing several new Justices to the Court. The previous service of these three were not considered for the purposes of determining seniority. This point would cause a minor controversy in 1992. During that time, it was advocated in some sectors that Herrera, as the longest serving incumbent Associate Justice, was more qualified to succeed the resigned Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan
Marcelo Fernan
Marcelo "Celing" Briones Fernán was a Filipino lawyer and political figure. He is the only Filipino to have served as both Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and as Senate president...

 than Andres Narvasa
Andres Narvasa
Andres dela Rosa Narvasa was the Chief Justice of the Philippines from December 1, 1991 to November 30, 1998.He served as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for Constitutional Reform, a special agency tasked to look into potentially positive modifications in the Philippine Constitution, from...

, who was considered as the Senior Associate Justice despite having been appointed to the Court 7 years after Melencio-Herrera. President Aquino eventually appointed Narvasa over Herrera.

The incumbent Justice with the earliest date of appointment is deemed as the Senior Associate Justice. While the Senior Associate Justice has no constitutional or statutory duties, he or she usually acts as Acting Chief Justice during the absence of the Chief Justice. The Senior Associate Justice is also usually designated as the chairperson of one of the divisions of the Court.

Becoming Chief Justice?

Only two persons appointed as Chief Justice had not previously served as Associate Justices. These were Cayetano Arellano
Cayetano Arellano
Cayetano L. Arellano was the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines under the American Civil Government. He was Chief Justice from 1901 until his retirement on April 12, 1920, making him the longest serving Chief Justice.Born in Orion, Bataan, He started as a working student...

, the first Chief Justice, and José Yulo
Jose Yulo
José Yulo was the Chief Justice of the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation and was Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives from 1939 until the World War II started in 1941.-Career:...

, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives
House of Representatives of the Philippines
The House of Representatives of the Philippines is the lower chamber of the...

 who was appointed as Chief Justice during the Japanese period. All other Chief Justices, except for Victorino Mapa
Victorino Mapa
Victorino Mapa was the second Chief Justice of the Philippines.-Career:He graduated his Bachelor of Laws and Jurisprudence from the University of Santo Tomas at the age of 25....

, were incumbent Associate Justices at the time of their appointment as Chief Justice. Mapa had served as Associate Justice from 1901 to 1913, when he was appointed as Secretary of Justice. Mapa would be appointed as Chief Justice in 1920.

Another tradition, though less stringently observed, was that the most senior Associate Justice would be appointed as Chief Justice upon a permanent vacancy to that post. Deviations from this tradition, especially in recent years, have caused some controversy. Senior Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee, who had emerged as a fervent critic of Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

, was twice bypassed for Chief Justice by Marcos. More recently, in 2005, the appointment of Artemio Panganiban
Artemio Panganiban
Artemio V. Panganiban , "The Renaissance Jurist of the 21st Century" was the 21st Supreme Court Chief Justice of the Philippines.-Early life and education:...

 as Chief Justice over Senior Associate Justice Reynato Puno
Reynato Puno
Reynato Puno y Serrano was the 22nd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Appointed on December 8, 2006 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he was the 22nd person to serve as Chief Justice...

 was also the subject of some controversy. Puno was eventually appointed as Chief Justice in 2006. Another contender for Chief Justice in 2006 was Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago
Miriam Defensor-Santiago
Miriam Defensor Santiago is a Senator of the Philippines. She is a lawyer, former trial judge and professor of constitutional and international law. She served as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation in 1988 and the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform from 1989...

. Had Santiago been appointed Chief Justice, she would have been the first person since José Yulo in 1942 to have been appointed Chief without serving as Associate Justice.

Notable Associate Justices

  • To date, one Associate Justice, José P. Laurel
    Jose P. Laurel
    José Paciano Laurel y García was the president of the Republic of the Philippines, a Japanese-sponsored administration during World War II, from 1943 to 1945...

    , would later serve as President of the Philippines
    President of the Philippines
    The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

    . Laurel also ran for the presidency in 1949
    Philippine general election, 1949
    Elections for the members of the Senate were held on November 8, 1949 in the Philippines. While President Elpidio Quirino won a full term as President of the Philippines after the death of President Manuel Roxas in 1948, and his running mate, Senator Fernando Lopez won as Vice President, their...

     but was defeated by Elpidio Quirino
    Elpidio Quirino
    Elpidio Rivera Quirino was a Filipino politician, and the sixth President of the Philippines.A lawyer by profession, Quirino entered politics when he became a representative of Ilocos Sur from 1919 to 1925. He was then elected as senator from 1925–1931...

    . Another Associate Justice, Claro M. Recto
    Claro M. Recto
    Claro Mayo Recto, Jr. , was a Filipino politician, jurist, poet and one of the foremost statesmen of his generation...

    , would be a candidate for President, but he and former Chief Justice
    Chief Justice of the Philippines
    The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines presides over the Supreme Court of the Philippines and is the highest judicial officer of the government of the Philippines...

     Jose Yulo
    Jose Yulo
    José Yulo was the Chief Justice of the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation and was Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives from 1939 until the World War II started in 1941.-Career:...

     lost to Carlos P. Garcia
    Carlos P. Garcia
    Carlos Polistico García was a Filipino teacher, poet, orator, lawyer, public official, political economist and guerrilla leader...

     in the 1957 presidential election
    Philippine general election, 1957
    Senatorial elections were held on November 12, 1957 in the Philippines. The Nacionalista Party, despite losing two seats to the Liberal Party still held the Senate with twenty seats. The Liberals who won were actor Rogelio de la Rosa and former basketball player Ambrosio Padilla.-See...

    .

  • The thirteen women appointed as Associate Justices of the Court: Cecilia Muñoz-Palma
    Cecilia Muñoz-Palma
    Cecilia Muñoz-Palma was a Filipino jurist and the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the Philippines...

     (1973); Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera (1979); Irene Cortes
    Irene Cortes
    Irene R. Cortes was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines and a respected law academician. She was also the first female dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law.-Professor and Dean:...

     (1986); Carolina Griño-Aquino (1987); Flerida Ruth Romero (1991); Minerva Gonzaga-Reyes (1988); Consuelo Ynares-Santiago
    Consuelo Ynares-Santiago
    Consuelo Ynares-Santiago is an incumbent Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. She was appointed to the Court by President Joseph Estrada.-Profile:...

     (1999); Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez
    Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez
    Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez is a Filipino jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from 2000 to 2008. She was the last appointment to the Court made by President Joseph Estrada.-Profile:...

     (2000); Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez (2002); Conchita Carpio-Morales
    Conchita Carpio-Morales
    Conchita Carpio-Morales is the newly appointed and current Ombudsman of the Philippines. She was previously an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines....

     (2002); Minita Chico-Nazario
    Minita Chico-Nazario
    Minita Chico-Nazario is an incumbent Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. She was appointed to the court by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 10, 2004.-Profile:...

     (2003); Teresita Leonardo-de Castro (2007); and Maria Lourdes Aranal-Sereno]] (2010).

  • Abdulwahid Bidin
    Abdulwahid Bidin
    Abdulwahid A. Bidin — was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Appointed by President Corazon Aquino in 1987, he was the first Muslim named to the Philippine High Bench.-Profile:...

     was the first Muslim
    Muslim
    A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

     named an Associate Justice. He was appointed by President Corazón Aquino
    Corazon Aquino
    Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino was the 11th President of the Philippines and the first woman to hold that office in Philippine history. She is best remembered for leading the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the Philippines...

     in 1987. The vast majority of Filipinos appointed to the Court were Catholic. Two of the more prominent non-Catholics in the Supreme Court are Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos
    José Abad Santos
    In 1919, Abad Santos would become instrumental in laying the legal groundwork as well as drafting the by-laws and constitution of the Philippine Women's University, the country's and Asia's first private non-sectarian institution for higher learning for women...

     and Chief Justice Reynato Puno
    Reynato Puno
    Reynato Puno y Serrano was the 22nd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Appointed on December 8, 2006 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he was the 22nd person to serve as Chief Justice...

    , both Methodists.

  • There has been one husband and wife pair who have both served on the Court; Chief Justice Ramon Aquino
    Ramon Aquino
    Ramon C. Aquino was the 15th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.He was appointed on November 20, 1985, the last Chief Justice appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos.-Personal life:...

     and Associate Justice Carolina Griño-Aquino. Griño-Aquino was appointed to the Court only after her husband had retired. There have been four father-son pairs who have served in the Court: Associate Justices Florentino Torres (1901–1920) and Luis P. Torres (1949–1950); Chief Justice Ricardo Paras
    Ricardo Paras
    Ricardo Paras was the Chief Justice of the Philippines from April 2, 1951 until February 17, 1961.-Career:...

     (1941–1961) and Associate Justice Edgardo Paras (1987–1992); Associate Justices Sabino Padilla (1946–1948, 1950–1961) and Teodoro Padilla (1987–1997); and Associate Justices Felicisimo Feria (1945–1953) and Jose Feria
    Jose Feria
    Jose Y. Feria was a Filipino lawyer and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from 1986 to 1987. He was among the first appointees to the Supreme Court of President Corazon Aquino....

     (1986–1987). Other prominent interrelated Justices were Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos
    José Abad Santos
    In 1919, Abad Santos would become instrumental in laying the legal groundwork as well as drafting the by-laws and constitution of the Philippine Women's University, the country's and Asia's first private non-sectarian institution for higher learning for women...

     and Associate Justice Vicente Abad Santos
    Vicente Abad Santos
    Vicente Abad Santos was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.-Profile:He was born in San Fernando, in Pampanga province of central Luzon...

     (uncle-nephew), and Associate Justice Manuel Briones and Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan
    Marcelo Fernan
    Marcelo "Celing" Briones Fernán was a Filipino lawyer and political figure. He is the only Filipino to have served as both Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and as Senate president...

     (uncle-nephew).

  • At age 35, the American George A. Malcolm
    George A. Malcolm
    George A. Malcolm was an American lawyer who emerged as an influential figure in the development of the practice of law in the Philippines in the 20th century. At age 35, he was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, where he would serve for 19 years...

     was the youngest person ever appointed Associate Justice, in 1915. Given the present age limit under the Constitution, it is unlikely that this record will ever be broken. The youngest Filipinos named Associate Justices were Claro M. Recto
    Claro M. Recto
    Claro Mayo Recto, Jr. , was a Filipino politician, jurist, poet and one of the foremost statesmen of his generation...

     (45 years, 4 months, 25 days old) and Ramon Avanceña
    Ramon Avanceña
    Ramón Avanceña was a Chief Justice of the Philippines. He served from 1925-1941, when he resigned during the nearing of the Japanese Occupation...

     (45 years, 5 months, 18 days old).

  • The oldest person ever named Associate Justice was José C. Campos, Jr., who was 69 years, 4 months and 23 days old upon his appointment by President Fidel Ramos in 1993. However, Jose Lopez Vito was 69 years, 364 days old when he was temporarily designated to sit on the Court to fill a vacancy during the Japanese Occupation. The oldest Justice seated at the Court upon his retirement or death was Florentino Torres, who was 75 years old when he resigned in 1920, at a time when the present age limit of 70 years was not yet in place.

  • The longest serving Associate Justice was the American E. Finley Johnson, who served in that position for 29 years, 5 months and 27 days, from 1903 to 1933. The longest serving Filipino
    Filipino people
    The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

     Associate Justice was Florentino Torres, who served for 18 years, 10 months, and 3 days, from 1901 to 1920. Justices Ramon Avanceña
    Ramon Avanceña
    Ramón Avanceña was a Chief Justice of the Philippines. He served from 1925-1941, when he resigned during the nearing of the Japanese Occupation...

     and Cesar Bengzon
    Cesar Bengzon
    César Bengzon was the Chief Justice of the Philippines from April 28, 1961 until May 29, 1966. In November 1966, a few months after his retirement, he became the first Filipino to be appointed to the International Court of Justice.-Judicial career:Bengzon earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from...

     would serve longer in the Court than Torres, but their tenure as Associate Justice was terminated by their respective promotions to Chief Justice.

  • The Associate Justice serving the shortest period was Ramon Diokno, a former Senator who died within 2 months, 11 days from his appointment to the Court in 1954.

  • The longest-lived Associate Justice was most likely Delfin Jaranilla, who died on June 4, 1980, aged 96 years, 5 months and 11 days. He outlived by a few months Associate Justice (and Chief Justice) Cesar Bengzon
    Cesar Bengzon
    César Bengzon was the Chief Justice of the Philippines from April 28, 1961 until May 29, 1966. In November 1966, a few months after his retirement, he became the first Filipino to be appointed to the International Court of Justice.-Judicial career:Bengzon earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from...

    , who died on September 3, 1992 aged 96 years, 3 months and 5 days. The Supreme Court website identifies Justice Guillermo Pablo as having died at the age of 106 http://elibrary.supremecourt.gov.ph/index4.php, but this is likely erroneous. Other Associate Justices who lived to be nonagenarians include Ricardo Paras
    Ricardo Paras
    Ricardo Paras was the Chief Justice of the Philippines from April 2, 1951 until February 17, 1961.-Career:...

    , J.B.L. Reyes, Querube Makalintal
    Querube Makalintal
    Querube C. Makalintal was the Chief Justice of the Philippines from Oct. 31, 1973 until December 22, 1975 and Speaker of the Interim Batasang Pambansa from June 12, 1978 to June 30, 1984.-Career:...

    , Cecilia Muñoz-Palma
    Cecilia Muñoz-Palma
    Cecilia Muñoz-Palma was a Filipino jurist and the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the Philippines...

    , Conrado Vasquez, Jose P. Bengzon, Pastor Endencia, and the still-living Lorenzo Relova.

  • The youngest Associate Justice to die was the American Fletcher Ladd, who died shortly after resigning in 1903 aged 40 years, 356 days. Ladd had served in the Court for less than two years. The youngest Filipino Justice to die was Jose Abad Santos
    José Abad Santos
    In 1919, Abad Santos would become instrumental in laying the legal groundwork as well as drafting the by-laws and constitution of the Philippine Women's University, the country's and Asia's first private non-sectarian institution for higher learning for women...

    , who was executed by the Japanese at age 56 years, 2 months, 16 days. Gregorio Perfecto
    Gregorio Perfecto
    Gregorio Perfecto was a Filipino journalist, politician and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from 1945 to 1949...

     died in office aged 57 years, 8 months, 20 days.

  • The most recent Associate Justice to die in office was Leo Medialdea, who died in 1992. Other Associate Justices who died during their incumbency were Fernando Jugo, Ramon Diokno, Gregorio Perfecto
    Gregorio Perfecto
    Gregorio Perfecto was a Filipino journalist, politician and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from 1945 to 1949...

    , Ignacio Villamor, Carlos Imperial and Charles Johns
    Charles A. Johns
    Charles A. Johns was an American lawyer, jurist and politician who served as the 47th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Johns also served as mayor of Baker City in Eastern Oregon and as a justice on the Supreme Court of the Philippines while that archipelago was under U.S...

    .

  • The only Associate Justice who resigned before the age of compulsory retirement, due to health reasons, was Austria-Martinez. Note that Florentino Feliciano retired at 67 to accept appointment to the Appellate Body
    Appellate Body
    The Appellate Body of the WTO is a standing body of seven persons that hears appeals from reports issued by panels in disputes brought by WTO Members...

     of the World Trade Organization
    World Trade Organization
    The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

    . On September, 2008, Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez, citing health reasons, filed a letter to the Supreme Court of the Philippines
    Supreme Court of the Philippines
    The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...

     thru Reynato Puno
    Reynato Puno
    Reynato Puno y Serrano was the 22nd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Appointed on December 8, 2006 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he was the 22nd person to serve as Chief Justice...

    , tendering her resignation
    Resignation
    A resignation is the formal act of giving up or quitting one's office or position. It can also refer to the act of admitting defeat in a game like chess, indicated by the resigning player declaring "I resign", turning his king on its side, extending his hand, or stopping the chess clock...

     effective April 30, 2009, or 15 months before her compulsory retirement on December 19, 2010. In the October 1 Judicial and Bar Council
    Judicial and Bar Council
    The Judicial and Bar Council of the Philippines is a constitutionally-created body that recommends appointees for vacancies that may arise in the composition of the Supreme Court and other lower courts.-Composition:...

    's en banc
    En banc
    En banc, in banc, in banco or in bank is a French term used to refer to the hearing of a legal case where all judges of a court will hear the case , rather than a panel of them. It is often used for unusually complex cases or cases considered to be of greater importance...

     deliberations, Reynato Puno
    Reynato Puno
    Reynato Puno y Serrano was the 22nd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Appointed on December 8, 2006 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he was the 22nd person to serve as Chief Justice...

     ruled: “The court merely noted it. We don’t have to approve it... it is her right.” During the JBC hearing, a JBC member said "Austria-Martinez had wanted to retire earlier because of health reasons. We were told she had health problems even when she was in the CA.” Retired Chief Justice of the Philippines
    Chief Justice of the Philippines
    The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines presides over the Supreme Court of the Philippines and is the highest judicial officer of the government of the Philippines...

     Artemio Panganiban
    Artemio Panganiban
    Artemio V. Panganiban , "The Renaissance Jurist of the 21st Century" was the 21st Supreme Court Chief Justice of the Philippines.-Early life and education:...

     stated: "I am saddened that Justice Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez has opted to retire early from the Supreme Court due to 'health reasons.' She is not bedridden. Neither is she physically or mentally incapacitated, but she has chosen to retire on April 30, 2009 because she felt she could no longer cope with the heavy caseload." The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines
    Constitution of the Philippines
    The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the Philippines.The Constitution currently in effect was enacted in 1987, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino, and is popularly known as the "1987 Constitution"...

     provides that: "Section 11, Article VIII. The Members of the Supreme Court xxx shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office."http://www.chanrobles.com/article8.htm

See also

  • Supreme Court of the Philippines
    Supreme Court of the Philippines
    The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...

  • Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
    Chief Justice of the Philippines
    The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines presides over the Supreme Court of the Philippines and is the highest judicial officer of the government of the Philippines...

  • Judicial and Bar Council
    Judicial and Bar Council
    The Judicial and Bar Council of the Philippines is a constitutionally-created body that recommends appointees for vacancies that may arise in the composition of the Supreme Court and other lower courts.-Composition:...

  • Constitution of the Philippines
    Constitution of the Philippines
    The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the Philippines.The Constitution currently in effect was enacted in 1987, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino, and is popularly known as the "1987 Constitution"...

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