Supreme Court of the Philippines
Overview
 
The Supreme Court of the Philippines (Filipino: Kataas-taasang Hukuman ng Pilipinas or Korte Suprema) is 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...

' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines is one of 15 members of the Philippine Supreme Court, the highest court in the Philippines. The Chief Justice presides over the High Court, but carries only 1 of the 15 votes in the court...

 and 1 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...

. Pursuant to the 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 Supreme Court has "administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof".

The Supreme Court complex, which as formerly the campus of the University of the Philippines, occupies the corner of Padre Faura Street and Taft Avenue in Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, with the main building directly fronting the Philippine General Hospital
Philippine General Hospital
The Philippine General Hospital is a tertiary state-owned hospital administered and operated by the University of the Philippines Manila, the University of the Philippines System's Health Sciences Center. It is the largest government hospital administered by the university, and is designated as...

.
Encyclopedia
The Supreme Court of the Philippines (Filipino: Kataas-taasang Hukuman ng Pilipinas or Korte Suprema) is 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...

' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines is one of 15 members of the Philippine Supreme Court, the highest court in the Philippines. The Chief Justice presides over the High Court, but carries only 1 of the 15 votes in the court...

 and 1 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...

. Pursuant to the 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 Supreme Court has "administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof".

The Supreme Court complex, which as formerly the campus of the University of the Philippines, occupies the corner of Padre Faura Street and Taft Avenue in Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, with the main building directly fronting the Philippine General Hospital
Philippine General Hospital
The Philippine General Hospital is a tertiary state-owned hospital administered and operated by the University of the Philippines Manila, the University of the Philippines System's Health Sciences Center. It is the largest government hospital administered by the university, and is designated as...

. Until 1945, the Court held office within Intramuros
Intramuros
Intramuros is the oldest district in the present day city of Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines. Nicknamed the "Walled City", Intramuros is the historic fortified city of Manila, the seat ot the government during the Spanish Colonial Period. Its name in Latin, intramuros,...

.

Composition

A person must meet the following requirements in order to be appointed to the Supreme Court: (1) natural-born citizen
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...

ship, (2) at least 40 years old; (3) must have been for fifteen years or more a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines. An additional constitutional requirement, though less precise in nature, is that a judge "must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence." Upon a vacancy in the Court, whether for the position of 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...

 or Associate Justice, 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...

 fills the vacancy by appointing a person 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:...

.

Beginning with the 1935 Constitution, Supreme Court Justices are obliged to retire upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. Some Justices had opted to retire before reaching the age of 70, such as Florentino Feliciano, who 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...

 and Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez who retired at 68 due to health reasons. 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 Since, 1901, it was only incumbent Associate Justice
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines is one of 15 members of the Philippine Supreme Court, the highest court in the Philippines. The Chief Justice presides over the High Court, but carries only 1 of the 15 votes in the court...

 Alicia Austria-Martinez
Alicia Austria-Martinez
Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez is a Filipino jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from 2002 to 2009...

 who resigned for health reasons. Thus, on September, 2008, Austria-Martinez, citing health reasons, filed a letter to the Court through 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."

Functions

The powers of the Supreme Court are defined in Article VIII of 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"...

. These functions may be generally divided into two – judicial functions
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 and administrative functions
Management
Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively...

. The administrative functions of the Court pertain to the supervision and control over the Philippine judiciary and its employees, as well as over members of the Philippine bar. Pursuant to these functions, the Court is empowered to order a change of venue of trial in order to avoid a miscarriage of justice and to appoint all officials and employees of the judiciary. The Court is further authorized to promulgate the rules for admission to the practice of law, for legal assistance to the underprivileged, and the procedural rules to be observed in all courts.

The more prominent role of the Court is located in the exercise of its judicial functions. Section 1 of Article VIII contains definition of judicial power that had not been found in previous constitutions. The provision states in part that:
Judicial power includes the duty of courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.


The definition reaffirms the power of the Supreme Court to engage in judicial review, a power that had traditionally belonged to the Court even before this provision was enacted. Still, this new provision effectively dissuades from the easy resort to the political question
Political question
In American Constitutional law, the political question doctrine is closely linked to the concept of justiciability, as it comes down to a question of whether or not the court system is an appropriate forum in which to hear the case. This is because the court system only has authority to hear and...

 doctrine as a means of declining to review a law or state action, as was often done by the Court during the rule 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...

. As a result, the existence of “grave abuse of discretion” on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government is sufficient basis to nullify state action.

Cases

The Court is authorized to sit either 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...

 or in divisions of 3, 5 or 7 members. Since the 1970s, the Court has constituted itself in 3 divisions with 5 members each. Majority of the cases are heard and decided by the divisions, rather than the court en banc. However, the Constitution requires that the Court hear en banc “[a]ll cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international or executive agreement, as well as “those involving the constitutionality, application, or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and other regulations”. The Court en banc also decides cases originally heard by a division when a majority vote cannot be reached within the division. The Court also has the discretion to hear a case en banc even if no constitutional issue is involved, as it typically does if the decision would reverse precedent or presents novel or important questions.

Appellate review

Far and away the most common mode by which a case reaches the Supreme Court is through an appeal
Appeal
An appeal is a petition for review of a case that has been decided by a court of law. The petition is made to a higher court for the purpose of overturning the lower court's decision....

 from a decision rendered by a lower court. Appealed cases generally originate from lawsuits or criminal indictments
Indictment
An indictment , in the common-law legal system, is a formal accusation that a person has committed a crime. In jurisdictions that maintain the concept of felonies, the serious criminal offence is a felony; jurisdictions that lack the concept of felonies often use that of an indictable offence—an...

 filed and tried before the trial courts. These decisions of the trial courts may then be elevated on appeal to 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...

, or more rarely, directly to the Supreme Court if only “questions of law” are involved. Apart from decisions of the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court may also directly review on appeal decisions rendered by the Sandiganbayan
Sandiganbayan
The Sandiganbayan is a special court in the Philippines which was established under Presidential Decree No. 1606. Its rank is equivalent to the Court of Appeals. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Presiding Justice...

 and the Court of Tax Appeals
Philippine Court of Tax Appeals
The Court of Tax Appeals of the Philippines is the special court of limited jurisdiction, and has the same level with the Court of Appeals. The court consists of 8 Associate Justices and 1 Presiding Justice...

. Decisions rendered by administrative agencies are not directly appealable to the Supreme Court, they must be first challenged before the Court of Appeals. However, decisions of the Commission on Elections
Commission on Elections (Philippines)
The Commission on Elections, or COMELEC, is one of the three constitutional commissions of the Philippines. Its principal role is to enforce all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of elections, initiatives, referendums, and recalls....

 may be elevated directly for review to the Supreme Court, although the procedure is not, strictly speaking, in the nature of an appeal.

Review on appeal is not as a matter of right, but "of sound judicial discretion and will be granted only when there are special and important reasons therefor". In the exercise of appellate review, the Supreme Court may reverse the decision of lower courts upon a finding of an "error of law". The Court generally declines to engage in review the findings of fact made by the lower courts, although there are notable exceptions to this rule. The Court also refuses to entertain cases originally filed before it that should have been filed first with the trial courts.

Original jurisdiction

The other mode by which a case reaches the Supreme Court is through an original petition filed directly with the Supreme Court, in cases where the 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"...

 establishes “original jurisdiction” with the Supreme Court. Under Section 5(1), Article VIII of the Constitution, these are “cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and corpus”. Resort to certiorari
Certiorari
Certiorari is a type of writ seeking judicial review, recognized in U.S., Roman, English, Philippine, and other law. Certiorari is the present passive infinitive of the Latin certiorare...

, prohibition
Prohibition (writ)
A writ of prohibition is a writ directing a subordinate to stop doing something the law prohibits. In practice, the Court directs the Clerk to issue the Writ, and directs the Sheriff to serve it on the subordinate, and the Clerk prepares the Writ and gives it to the Sheriff, who serves it.This...

 and mandamus
Mandamus
A writ of mandamus or mandamus , or sometimes mandate, is the name of one of the prerogative writs in the common law, and is "issued by a superior court to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly".Mandamus is a judicial remedy which...

 may be availed of only if "there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law".

However, notwithstanding this grant of original jurisdiction, the Court has, through the years, assigned to lower courts such as 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...

 the power to hear petitions for certiorari
Certiorari
Certiorari is a type of writ seeking judicial review, recognized in U.S., Roman, English, Philippine, and other law. Certiorari is the present passive infinitive of the Latin certiorare...

, prohibition
Prohibition (writ)
A writ of prohibition is a writ directing a subordinate to stop doing something the law prohibits. In practice, the Court directs the Clerk to issue the Writ, and directs the Sheriff to serve it on the subordinate, and the Clerk prepares the Writ and gives it to the Sheriff, who serves it.This...

, mandamus
Mandamus
A writ of mandamus or mandamus , or sometimes mandate, is the name of one of the prerogative writs in the common law, and is "issued by a superior court to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly".Mandamus is a judicial remedy which...

, quo warranto
Quo warranto
Quo warranto is a prerogative writ requiring the person to whom it is directed to show what authority they have for exercising some right or power they claim to hold.-History:...

 and habeas corpus
Habeas corpus
is a writ, or legal action, through which a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention. The remedy can be sought by the prisoner or by another person coming to his aid. Habeas corpus originated in the English legal system, but it is now available in many nations...

. As a result, the Court has considerable discretion to refuse to hear these petitions filed directly before it on the ground that such should have been filed instead with the Court of Appeals or the appropriate lower court. Nonetheless, cases that have attracted wide public interest, or where a speedy resolution is of the essence, have been accepted for decision by the Supreme Court without hesitation.

In cases involving the original jurisdiction of the Court, there must be a finding of "grave abuse of discretion" on the part of the respondents to the suit to justify favorable action on the petition. The standard of "grave abuse of discretion", a markedly higher standard than "error of law", has been defined as "a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment amounting to lack of jurisdiction"

Current Justices

Name Born Alma Mater Date of Appointment Date of Retirement Appointing 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...


Renato C. Corona

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...

October 15, 1948
(Age )
in Tanauan City, Batangas
Ateneo de Manila Law School May 17, 2010 (as Chief Justice)
April 9, 2002 (as Associate Justice)
October 15, 2018 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

 (as Associate and Chief Justice)

Antonio T. Carpio

(Senior Associate Justice
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines is one of 15 members of the Philippine Supreme Court, the highest court in the Philippines. The Chief Justice presides over the High Court, but carries only 1 of the 15 votes in the court...

)
October 26, 1949
(Age )
in Davao City
Davao City
The City of Davao is the largest city in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Its international airport and seaports are among the busiest cargo hubs in the Philippines....

University of the Philippines College of Law
University of the Philippines College of Law
University of the Philippines College of Law or UP Law is the law school of the University of the Philippines. Since 1948, it has been located at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City, the flagship campus of UP's seven constituent universities. Until the 1970s, night classes of...

October 26, 2001 October 26, 2019 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...


Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr.
August 8, 1948
(Age )
in Pasay City
Pasay City
The City of Pasay is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is bordered on the north by the country's capital, Manila, to the northeast by Makati City, to the east by Taguig City, and Parañaque City to the south.Pasay City was one of the original four...

University of the Philippines College of Law
University of the Philippines College of Law
University of the Philippines College of Law or UP Law is the law school of the University of the Philippines. Since 1948, it has been located at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City, the flagship campus of UP's seven constituent universities. Until the 1970s, night classes of...

31 March 2006 8 August 2018 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...


Teresita J. Leonardo De Castro
October 8, 1948
(Age )
University of the Philippines College of Law
University of the Philippines College of Law
University of the Philippines College of Law or UP Law is the law school of the University of the Philippines. Since 1948, it has been located at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City, the flagship campus of UP's seven constituent universities. Until the 1970s, night classes of...

December 3, 2007 October 8, 2018 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...


Arturo D. Brion
December 29, 1946
(Age )
in City of Manila
Ateneo de Manila Law School March 17, 2008 December 29, 2016 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...


Diosdado M. Peralta
Diosdado Peralta
Diosdado M. Peralta is a Filipino jurist. He was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on January 14, 2009. He had been Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan at the time of his appointment to the Supreme Court.Peralta graduated...

March 27, 1952
(Age )
University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law
University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law
The University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law or "UST Law" , is the law school of the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest and the largest Catholic university in Manila, Philippines....

January 14, 2009 March 27, 2022 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...


Lucas P. Bersamin
Lucas Bersamin
Lucas P. Bersamin is a Filipino jurist. He was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on April 2, 2009, and was sworn into office the following day...

October 18, 1949
(Age )
University of the East College of Law
University of the East College of Law
The University of the East College of Law or UE Law is the law school of the University of the East, a private, non-sectarian university in Manila, Philippines.-History:The UE College of Law was established in July 1950....

April 3, 2009 October 18, 2019 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...


Mariano C. del Castillo
Mariano del Castillo
Mariano C. Del Castillo is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.After graduating from San Beda College, Mariano del Castillo pursued law studies at the Ateneo de Manila University...

July 29, 1949
(Age )
Ateneo de Manila Law School July 29, 2009 July 29, 2019 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...


Roberto A. Abad
Roberto A. Abad
Justice Roberto A. Abad is a lawyer and judge currently serving as Philippine Supreme Court Associate Justice.-Law career:Abad was a Dean's Lister at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he earned his law degree. He first engaged in private practice at the Jose W...

May 22, 1944
(Age )
Ateneo de Manila Law School August 7, 2009 May 22, 2014 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...


Martin S. Villarama, Jr.
April 14, 1946
(Age )
Manuel L. Quezon University
Manuel L. Quezon University
The Manuel L. Quezon University is a private university in Quiapo, Manila, Philippines. It is a member of the Colleges and Universities Sports Association . It offers academic programs at the pre-school, elementary, high school, tertiary, and graduate levels. It is named for Philippine president...

November 6, 2009 April 14, 2016 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...


Jose P. Perez
December 14, 1946
(Age )
University of the Philippines College of Law
University of the Philippines College of Law
University of the Philippines College of Law or UP Law is the law school of the University of the Philippines. Since 1948, it has been located at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City, the flagship campus of UP's seven constituent universities. Until the 1970s, night classes of...

December 26, 2009 December 14, 2016 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...


Jose C. Mendoza
Jose C. Mendoza
Jose Catral Mendoza is the 168th magistrate of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.- Legal career :A political science graduate of the University of the Philippines, Jose Mendoza took up his law studies in the San Beda College of Law where he led the establishment of...

August 13, 1947
(Age )
San Beda College of Law
San Beda College of Law
San Beda College of Law is the law degree-granting unit of San Beda College, a private, Roman Catholic college run by the Benedictine monks in the Philippines....

January 4, 2010 August 13, 2017 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...


Maria Lourdes A. Sereno
July 2, 1960
(Age )
University of the Philippines College of Law
University of the Philippines College of Law
University of the Philippines College of Law or UP Law is the law school of the University of the Philippines. Since 1948, it has been located at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City, the flagship campus of UP's seven constituent universities. Until the 1970s, night classes of...

August 13, 2010 July 2, 2030 Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III , also known as Noynoy Aquino or PNoy, is a Filipino politician who has been the 15th and current President of the Philippines since June 2010....


Bienvenido L. Reyes
Bienvenido L. Reyes
Bienvenido L. Reyes is magistrate of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.-Legal career:After finishing his pre-law at the University of Santo Tomas, Reyes took up his law degree at the San Beda College of Law where he, together with now fellow Supreme Court Justice Jose C. Mendoza, established the...

July 6, 1947
(Age )
San Beda College of Law
San Beda College of Law
San Beda College of Law is the law degree-granting unit of San Beda College, a private, Roman Catholic college run by the Benedictine monks in the Philippines....

August 20, 2011 July 6, 2017 Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III , also known as Noynoy Aquino or PNoy, is a Filipino politician who has been the 15th and current President of the Philippines since June 2010....


Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe
May 14, 1952
(Age )
Ateneo de Manila Law School September 16, 2011 May 14, 2022 Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III , also known as Noynoy Aquino or PNoy, is a Filipino politician who has been the 15th and current President of the Philippines since June 2010....


History

Pre-Hispanic and Hispanic periods

In the years prior to the official establishment of the Supreme Court, institutions exercising judicial power were already in existence. Before the Spaniards came, judicial authority “in its primitive form” was in the hands of barangay
Barangay
A barangay is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and is the native Filipino term for a village, district or ward...

 chiefs. During the early years of the Spanish government, these powers were vested upon Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi , also known as El Adelantado and El Viejo , was a Spanish conquistador who established one of the first European settlements in the East Indies and the Pacific Islands in 1565. He is the first Governor-General in the Philippines...

, the first governor-general
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

 of the Philippines. He administered civil and criminal justice
Criminal justice
Criminal Justice is the system of practices and institutions of governments directed at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, or sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts...

 under the Royal Order of August 14, 1569.

The present Supreme Court was preceded by the Royal Audiencia, a collegial body established on May 5, 1583 and composed, of a president, four oidores (justices), and a fiscal, among others. It was the highest tribunal in the Philippines, below only the Consejo de Indias of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. However, this body also exercised administrative functions, not just judicial functions.

The Audiencia’s functions and structure underwent substantial modifications in 1815 when its president was replaced by a chief justice
Chief Justice
The Chief Justice in many countries is the name for the presiding member of a Supreme Court in Commonwealth or other countries with an Anglo-Saxon justice system based on English common law, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the Court of Final Appeal of...

 and the number of justices was increased. It then came to be known as the Audiencia Territorial de Manila with two branches, civil and criminal, later renamed sala de lo civil and sala de lo criminal. The Audiencia was converted to a purely judicial body by a Royal Decree issued on July 4, 1861, but its decisions were appealable to the Supreme Court of Spain sitting in Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

.

On February 26, 1886, a territorial Audiencia was organized in Cebu
Cebu
Cebu is a province in the Philippines, consisting of Cebu Island and 167 surrounding islands. It is located to the east of Negros, to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands...

, followed by an Audiencia for criminal cases in Vigan. However, the pre-eminence of the Supreme Court as the sole interpreter of the law was unknown during the Spanish regime.

Unlike the decisions rendered by the Supreme Court during the period of American rule, the decisions of the Royal Audiencia are

American period

The Supreme Court of the Philippines was officially established on June 11, 1901 through the passage of Act No. 136, otherwise known as the Judiciary Law of the Second Philippine Commission
Philippine Commission
The Philippine Commission was a body appointed by the President of the United States to exercise legislative and limited executive powers in the Philippines. It was first appointed by President William McKinley in 1901. Beginning in 1907, it acted as the upper house of a bicameral Philippine...

. By virtue of that law, judicial power in the Philippine Islands was vested in the Supreme Court, Courts of First Instance and Justice of the Peace
Justice of the Peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

 courts. Other courts were subsequently established.

The judicial structure introduced by Act No. 136 was reaffirmed by the US Congress with the passage of the Philippine Bill of 1902. The Administrative Code of 1917 ordained the Supreme Court as the highest tribunal with nine members: a chief justice and eight associate justices.

From 1901 to 1935, although a Filipino was always appointed chief justice, the majority of the members of the Supreme Court were Americans
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Complete Filipinization was achieved only with the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines
Commonwealth of the Philippines
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was a designation of the Philippines from 1935 to 1946 when the country was a commonwealth of the United States. The Commonwealth was created by the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1934. When Manuel L...

 in 1935. 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...

 and 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 among the first appointees to replace the American justices. With the ratification of the 1935 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"...

 in a plebiscite held on May 14, 1935, the membership in the Supreme Court increased to 11: a chief justice and ten associate justices, who sat en banc or in two divisions of five members each.

An independent Philippines

Under the 1973 Constitution, the membership of the Supreme Court was increased to 15. The justices sat 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...

 or in divisions. The 1973 Constitution also vested in the Supreme Court administrative supervision over all lower courts which heretofore was under the Department of Justice
Department of Justice (Philippines)
The Department of Justice , abbreviated as DOJ, is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for upholding the rule of law in the Philippines...

.

After the overthrow 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...

 in 1986, President Corazon C. Aquino, using her emergency powers, promulgated a transitory charter known as the “Freedom Constitution” which did not affect the composition and powers of the Supreme Court. The Freedom Charter was replaced by 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"...

 which is the fundamental charter in force in the Philippines at present. Section 1 Article VIII of the Constitution vests the judicial power “in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.”

Writ of Amparo

The Supreme Court approved the Writ of Amparo on September 25, 2007. The writ of amparo (Spanish for protection) strips the military of the defense of simple denial. Under the writ, families of victims have the right to access information on their cases—a constitutional right called the "habeas data" common in several Latin American countries. The rule is enforce retroactively. Chief Justice Puno stated that "If you have this right, it would be very, very difficult for State agents, State authorities to be able to escape from their culpability."

The Resolution and the Rule on the Writ of Amparo gave legal birth to Puno's brainchild
Brainchild
Brainchild may refer to:* Brainchild , a local supergroup from Youngstown, Ohio, 1969–1972* Brainchild , 1996* Brainchild , 1994* Fictional comic characters in the Marvel Universe:...

. No filing
Filing (legal)
In law, filing is the act of submitting a document to the clerk of a court for the court's immediate consideration, for storage in the court's files, or both. Courts will not consider motions unless an appropriate memorandum or brief is filed before the appropriate deadline...

 or legal fees is required for Amparo which takes effect on October 24. Puno also stated that the court will soon issue rules on the writ of Habeas Data
Habeas Data
Habeas data is a writ and constitutional remedy available in certain nations. The literal translation from Latin of habeas data is “[we command] you have the data”...

 and the implementing guidelines for Habeas Corpus
Habeas corpus
is a writ, or legal action, through which a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention. The remedy can be sought by the prisoner or by another person coming to his aid. Habeas corpus originated in the English legal system, but it is now available in many nations...

. The petition for the writ of amparo may be filed "on any day and at any time" with the Regional Trial Court, or with the Sandiganbayan
Sandiganbayan
The Sandiganbayan is a special court in the Philippines which was established under Presidential Decree No. 1606. Its rank is equivalent to the Court of Appeals. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Presiding Justice...

, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. The interim reliefs under amparo are: temporary protection order (TPO), inspection order (IO), production order (PO), and witness protection order (WPO, RA 6981).

The Asian Human Rights Commission
Asian Human Rights Commission
The Asian Human Rights Commission is an independent, non-governmental body, which seeks to promote greater awareness and realisation of human rights in the Asian region, and to mobilise Asian and international public opinion to obtain relief and redress for the victims of human rights violations...

 (AHRC) has criticized the Writ of Amparo and Habeas Data
Writ of Amparo and Habeas Data (Philippines)
In the Philippines, amparo and habeas data are prerogative writs to supplement the inefficacy of the writ of habeas corpus . Amparo means protection, while habeas data is access to information...

 for being insufficient, saying further action must be taken, including enacting laws for protection against torture, enforced disappearance, and laws to provide legal remedies to victims. AHRC said the writ
Writ
In common law, a writ is a formal written order issued by a body with administrative or judicial jurisdiction; in modern usage, this body is generally a court...

 failed to protect non-witnesses, even if they too face threats.

Habeas Data

On August 30, 2007, Puno vowed to institute the writ of habeas data as a new legal remedy to the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Puno explained that the writ of amparo denies to authorities defense of simple denial, and habeas data can find out what information is held by the officer, rectify or even the destroy erroneous data gathered.

On January 22, 2008, the Supreme Court En Banc approved the rules for the writ of Habeas Data
Habeas Data
Habeas data is a writ and constitutional remedy available in certain nations. The literal translation from Latin of habeas data is “[we command] you have the data”...

 ("to protect a person’s right to privacy and allow a person to control any information concerning them"), effective on February 2, the Philippines’ Constitution Day.

Language

Since the courts' creation, English had been used in court proceedings. But for the first time in Philippine judicial history, or on August 22, 2007, three Malolos City
Malolos City
City of Malolos is a 3rd class urban component city in the Republic of the Philippines. Malolos is considered as the 115th city in the country. It is the capital city of the province of Bulacan as the seat of the provincial government...

 regional trial courts in Bulacan
Bulacan
Bulacan , officially called the Province of Bulacan or simply Bulacan Province, is a first class province of the Republic of the Philippines located in the Central Luzon Region in the island of Luzon, north of Manila , and part of the Metro...

 will use Filipino
Filipino language
This move has drawn much criticism from other regional groups.In 1987, a new constitution introduced many provisions for the language.Article XIV, Section 6, omits any mention of Tagalog as the basis for Filipino, and states that:...

, to promote the national language. Twelve stenographers from Branches 6, 80 and 81, as model courts, had undergone training at Marcelo H. del Pilar College of Law of Bulacan State University
Bulacan State University
Bulacan State University is a state-funded institution of higher learning established in 1904, by the virtue of ACT 74 of the Philippine Commission in 1901, as an intermediate school established by the American regime, and converted into a chartered state university in 1993 by virtue of Republic...

 College of Law following a directive from the Supreme Court of the Philippines. De la Rama said it was the dream of 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...

 to implement the program in other areas such as Laguna, Cavite
Cavite
Cavite is a province of the Philippines located on the southern shores of Manila Bay in the CALABARZON region in Luzon, just 30 kilometers south of Manila. Cavite is surrounded by Laguna to the east, Metro Manila to the northeast, and Batangas to the south...

, Quezon
Quezon
-History:Originally, what now forms Quezon was divided among the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, and Nueva Ecija. The area was first explored by Juan de Salcedo in 1571-1572, during his expedition from Laguna to Camarines provinces....

, Nueva Ecija
Nueva Ecija
Nueva Ecija is a landlocked province of the Philippines located in the Central Luzon region. Its capital is Palayan City...

, Batangas
Batangas
Batangas is a first class province of the Philippines located on the southwestern part of Luzon in the CALABARZON region. Its capital is Batangas City and it is bordered by the provinces of Cavite and Laguna to the north and Quezon to the east. Across the Verde Island Passages to the south is the...

, Rizal
Rizal
Rizal is a province located in the CALABARZON , just 16 kilometers east of Manila. The province was named after the country's national hero, José Rizal. Rizal Governor Casimiro A. Ynares III on June 17, 2008 announced the transfer of the Capitol from Pasig. Its P 270-million capitol building,...

 and Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

.

Judicial corruption

On January 25, 2005, and on December 10, 2006, 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...

 Social Weather Stations
Social Weather Stations
The Social Weather Stations or SWS is a public opinion polling body in the Philippines. It is a private, independent, non-partisan, non-profit scientific institute in the Philippines which conducts social surveys and does survey-based social science research and other educational activities, using...

 released the results of its 2 surveys on corruption in the judiciary
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

; it published that: a) like 1995, 1/4 of lawyers said many/very many judge
Judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

s are corrupt. But (49%) stated that a judges received bribes, just 8% of lawyers admitted they reported the bribery
Bribery
Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or...

, because they could not prove it. [Tables 8-9]; judges, however, said, just 7% call many/very many judges as corrupt[Tables 10-11];b) "Judges see some corruption; proportions who said - many/very many corrupt judges or justices: 17% in reference to RTC judges, 14% to MTC judges, 12% to Court of Appeals justices, 4% i to Shari'a Court judges, 4% to Sandiganbayan
Sandiganbayan
The Sandiganbayan is a special court in the Philippines which was established under Presidential Decree No. 1606. Its rank is equivalent to the Court of Appeals. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Presiding Justice...

 justices and 2% in reference to Supreme Court justices [Table 15].

The September 14, 2008, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC
PERC
PERC may stand for:* Policy and Economic Research Council, a Durham, North Carolina-based economic policy think tank* Pan-European Regional Council the European trade union arm of the International Trade Union Confederation...

) survey, ranked 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...

 6th (6.10) among corrupt Asian judicial systems. PERC stated that "despite India and the Philippines being democracies, expatriates did not look favourably on their judicial systems because of corruption." PERC reported Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 have the best judicial systems in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, with Indonesia and Vietnam the worst: Hong Kong's judicial system scored 1.45 on the scale (zero representing the best performance and 10 the worst); Singapore with a grade of 1.92, followed by Japan (3.50), South Korea (4.62), Taiwan (4.93), 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...

 (6.10), Malaysia (6.47), India (6.50), Thailand (7.00), China (7.25), Vietnam's (8.10) and Indonesia (8.26).

In the September 23, 2008, Transparency International
Transparency International
Transparency International is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. It publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a comparative listing of corruption worldwide...

 Corruption Perceptions Index (global survey
Statistical survey
Survey methodology is the field that studies surveys, that is, the sample of individuals from a population with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population using the sample. Polls about public opinion, such as political beliefs, are reported in the news media in democracies....

 ranking countries in terms of perceived corruption), the Philippines dropped to 141st, down 10 places from 2007, among 180 countries surveyed. It scored a 2.3 in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), lower than 2007's 2.5, on a scale where 10 is the highest possible grade. Vincent Lazatin, TAN executive director, said: “We are compared to our nearest neighbors Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, with Vietnam seen as eventually overtaking us in a few years. The difference is that (in other countries) when business sets aside money to grease the wheels, they know that they will get what they paid for. In the Philippines, there is no certainty."

“Bantay Korte Suprema”

"Watch the Supreme Court" coalition
Coalition
A coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause. This alliance may be temporary or a matter of convenience. A coalition thus differs from a more formal covenant...

 was launched at the Training Center, Ground Floor, Supreme Court Centennial Bldg on November 17, 2008, "to ensure the fair and honest selection of the 7 Associate Justices of the Supreme Court on 2009." Members of “Bantay Korte Suprema” include retired Philippine presidents, retired Supreme Court justices, legislators, legal practitioners, the academe, the business community and the media. former Senate President Jovito Salonga
Jovito Salonga
Jovito "Jovy" Reyes Salonga is a Filipino nationalist politician and lawyer, as well as a leading opposition leader during the Marcos regime from 1972, when Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law, until 1986, when Marcos was deposed as a result of a bloodless revolution...

, UP Law Dean Marvic Leonen
Marvic Leonen
Marvic M.V.F. Leonen is a Filipino law professor well known in the fields of environmental activism and community organizing. In 2008, he was selected as the Dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law by the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines.Leonen graduated magna...

, Senate Majority Leader and Judicial and Bar Council member Kiko Pangilinan, the Philippine Bar Association, 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:...

, and Rodolfo Urbiztondo, of the 48,000-strong Integrated Bar of the Philippines
Integrated Bar of the Philippines
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines is the national organization of lawyers in the Philippines. It is the mandatory bar association for Filipino lawyers.-History:...

 (IBP), and the chambers of commerce, witnessed the landmark event. BKS will neither select nor endorse a candidate, “but if it receive information that makes a candidate incompetent, it will divulge this to the public and inform the JBC
JBC
- Organizations :*Editora JBC , a Brazilian publisher*Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation, a public broadcasting company*JoongAng Broadcasting Corporation, the broadcast media arm of the JoongAng Media Network...

." At the BKS launching, the memorandum of understanding
Memorandum of understanding
A memorandum of understanding is a document describing a bilateral or multilateral agreement between parties. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action. It is often used in cases where parties either do not imply a legal commitment or in...

 (MOU) on the public monitoring of the selection of justices to the SC was signed.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Appointments Watch (SCAW) coalition of law groups and civil society to monitor the appointment of persons to judicial positions was also re-launched. The SCAW consortium
Consortium
A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal....

, composed of the Alternative Law Groups, Libertas
Libertas
Libertas was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty.- Temples and derived inspirations :In 238 BC, before the Second Punic War, having long been a Roman deity along with other personified virtues, Libertas assumed goddess status...

, Philippine Association of law Schools and the Transparency and Accountability Network, together with the online news magazine Newsbreak, reactivated itself for the JBC selection process of candidates.

Philippine Court System

  • 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...

    • Regional Trial Courts
      • Metropolitan Trial Courts
      • Municipal Trial Courts in Cities
      • Municipal Trial Courts
      • Municipal Circuit Trial Courts
    • Shari'a District Courts
      • Shari'a Circuit Courts
  • Sandiganbayan
    Sandiganbayan
    The Sandiganbayan is a special court in the Philippines which was established under Presidential Decree No. 1606. Its rank is equivalent to the Court of Appeals. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Presiding Justice...

  • Court of Tax Appeals
    Philippine Court of Tax Appeals
    The Court of Tax Appeals of the Philippines is the special court of limited jurisdiction, and has the same level with the Court of Appeals. The court consists of 8 Associate Justices and 1 Presiding Justice...


See also

  • 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...

  • Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
    Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
    An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines is one of 15 members of the Philippine Supreme Court, the highest court in the Philippines. The Chief Justice presides over the High Court, but carries only 1 of the 15 votes in the court...

  • Political history of the Philippines
    Political history of the Philippines
    The political history of the Philippines are chronicles which describes the history of the islands, starting from the beginning of civilization and up to the present day period.*Politics of the Philippines**Prehistoric Philippines...

  • 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"...

  • Judicial Executive Legislative Advisory and Consultative Council (JELAC)

External links

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