The Supreme Court or Korte Suprema is the highest judicial court in the Philippines. It was established on June 11, 1901. It is composed of a Chief Justice and 14 Associate Justices who serve until the age of 70. The Court may sit en banc or in one of its three divisions composed of five members each.
The Chief Justice and Associate Justices are appointed by the President of the Philippines. They are chosen from a shortlist submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC). The President must fill up a vacancy within 90 days of occurrence. Among the many appointed supreme court justices are proud Bulakenyos. Get to know the honorable Philippine Supreme Court Justices from Bulacan who bravely served with all fairness, justice, and equality in preserving and upholding the constitution.
Supreme Court Justices from Bulacan
Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, Plaridel (2011 – Present)
Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe was born on May 14, 1952, in Plaridel, Bulacan. She completed her pre-law studies, Bachelor of Science in Commerce, at St. Paul College Manila, graduating magna cum laude in 1972. After earning her law degree from the Ateneo College of Law, graduating salutatorian, and passing the Bar in 1976, she immediately joined the Judiciary as a Technical Assistant in then-Justice Lorenzo Relova’s office.
Justice Bernabe was the third appointee of President Benigno Aquino III to the Philippines’ Supreme Court as an associate justice on September 16, 2011. She replaced Conchita Carpio Morales, who retired from the Court on June 19, 2011, and later assumed the position of Ombudsman of the Philippines.
Associate Justice Bienvenido Lorenzo Reyes, Obando (2011 – 2017)
Justice Bienvenido “Bogie” Lorenzo Reyes was born in July 6, 1947 at Catanghalan, Obando, Bulacan. He is married to Teresita Jacinta Reyes.
After finishing his pre-law at the University of Santo Tomas, Reyes took up his law degree at the San Beda College of Law. Together with now fellow Supreme Court Justice Jose C. Mendoza, he established the law fraternity Lex Talionis Fraternitas. He passed the 1971 Bar exams.
In July 1990, he became Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Malabon and was appointed Associate Justice in the Court of Appeals on August 8, 2000. On August 16, 2011, President Benigno Aquino III appointed him as a Supreme Court magistrate.
Justice Reyes administered the oath of his fraternity brother, Rodrigo Duterte, as the Philippines’ 16th President on his inauguration rites held at Malacañang Palace on June 30, 2016. He is currently the chairman of the board of directors of COCOLIFE (United Coconut Planters Life Assurance Corporation).
Associate Justice Martin Villarama Jr., Angat (2007 – 2016)
Justice Martin Villarama Jr. was born on April 14, 1946, in Angat, Bulacan. He obtained his degree in Business Administration from De La Salle University. He took up a Bachelor of Laws from Manuel L. Quezon University.
Early in his career, he served in the Regional Trial Court of Pasig as Judge from 1986 to 1998 and as its Executive Judge from 1992 to 1996. In November 2009, he was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Philippines’ Supreme Court by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He assumed the vacated post by retired Associate Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago.
On January 16, 2016, he retired early, citing deteriorating health conditions due to this double-knee metal implantation in 2013 and cataract operation in 2014. His retirement is three months ahead of his 70th birthday, which is the mandatory retirement age.
Associate Justice Ruben T. Reyes, Hagonoy (2007 – 2009)
Justice Ruben T. Reyes was born in Hagonoy, Bulacan, and is married to lawyer Ellie Cruz-Reyes, Baliuag, Bulacan. He earned his law degree from Manuel L. Quezon University in 1962. He engaged in private practice for several years before becoming an assistant city fiscal in Manila.
In 1994, he was appointed by President Fidel V. Ramos to sit on the Court of Appeals and was eventually named as its Presiding Justice in December 2005.
He served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from 2007 to 2009. He was appointed to the Supreme Court on August 2, 2007, by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Justice Reyes retired from the Court in January 2009 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Associate Justice Minita Chico-Nazario, San Miguel (2004 – 2009)
Justice Chico-Nazario was born on December 5, 1939, in San Miguel, Bulacan. She was married to Rod Nazario, former manager of world boxing champion Senator Manny Pacquiao.
She was the first female justice in the Sandiganbayan and its first female presiding justice. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of the Philippines and is a New York State Bar member.
She was appointed to the court by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 10, 2004. She is currently an Independent Director of listed companies Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc. and Ginebra San Miguel, Inc., and private company San Miguel Properties, Inc.
Associate Justice Guillermo S. Santos, Valenzuela (1977 – 1980)
Associate Justice Guillermo S. Santos was born on January 23, 1915, in Polo, Bulacan (now part of Valenzuela). He is among the Class of 1937 of UP Vanguard and, from 1938 to 1941, taught at the Philippine Military Academy. He was finishing his law studies at the UP College of Law when World War II broke out. During the war, he served as part of the Adjutant General’s Service of the Philippines’ Armed Forces.
He graduated from UP with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1946 at the age of 31 and became a topnotcher (fifth place) in the Bar Exam. He studied again and two years later, he earned a Master of Laws degree at the University of Santo Tomas in 1948. He was also given the opportunity to study overseas and graduated with a Judge Advocate Course at Air University, United States Air Force. in Alabama, United States in 1951.
Among the 10th Battalion Combat Team (BCT) consisting of Filipino soldiers sent to Korea in 1952 as part of the United Nations force. After the Korean War, he taught Law at the University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas. He studied again and, in 1956, graduated with a Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of Santo Tomas.
In recognition of his ability, experience, and knowledge as a professor of Law, he was appointed as Chairman of the Agricultural Tenancy Commission (1954-1955); Executive Judge of the Court of Agrarian Relations (1955-1962); District Judge of the Manila Court of First Instance (1962-1970); Undersecretary of the Department of Justice (1970-1971); Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals (1971); and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (1977-1980). He was appointed to the court by President Ferdinand Marcos on May 27, 1977.
He passed away on May 4, 1991, at the age of 76. He is known by his nickname “Ka Mumoy”.
Associate Justice Eugenio Angeles, Valenzuela (1967 – 1968)
Associate Justice Eugenio Angeles was born on November 2, 1898, in Polo, Bulacan (now part of Valenzuela). He first obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ateneo de Manila before studying and graduating in law from the University of the Philippines. He became a topnotcher in the Bar Examination in 1918 when he achieved the second-highest score.
He first worked as an assistant attorney at the Estrada and Sumulong Law Office before becoming the private secretary of Senator Pedro Guevarra. He later worked for American law firms such as De Wit & O’Brian as assistant attorneys and Harvey, O’Brian, and Angeles as junior members.
After the war, he was appointed judge of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan and a few months later, in the Court of First Instance of Batangas. After nearly two years as a judge, he was appointed City Fiscal of Manila in 1948. He held this position until 1956, when he was appointed Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals.
In June 1967, President Ferdinand Marcos appointed him as Associate Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court on Justice Secretary Jose Yulo and Justice Roman Ozaeta, then president of the Philippine Bar Association. Retired to the Supreme Court in November 1968. He also taught Law at National Law College, Francisco Law School, and Far Eastern University.
His good wife was Eufrosina Solapco. They had six children, Geronimo, Zenaida, Milagros, Carmelita, Julieta, and Rodolfo. For his grandchildren, he is “Lolo Enyong.” He died on November 4, 1977, at the age of 79.
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