SC reorganizes 3 divisions

MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday announced the reorganization and designation of the heads of its three divisions.

Under Special Order No. 2861 signed by Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo which will take effect on Friday, the four most senior members of the court in terms of length of service were designated as chairpersons.

The first division’s chairperson is Gesmundo with Associate Justice Benjamin S. Caguioa designated as working chairperson. Its members are Associate Justices Amy C. Lazaro-Javier, Mario V. Lopez, and Jhosep Y. Lopez.

Senior Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe is the chairperson of the second division with Associate Justices Ramon Paul L. Hernando, Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, Samuel H. Gaerlan, and Japar B. Dimaampao as members.

In the third division, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen was designated chairperson with members Associate Justices Rosmari D. Carandang, Rodil V. Zalameda, Ricardo Rosario, and the latest appointee to the tribunal, Jose Midas Marquez.

Caguioa joined the SC in 2016, while Perlas-Bernabe and Leonen were appointed in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Under the Constitution, the high tribunal has the exclusive power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged.

SC magistrates are appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council without the need of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

Members of the Supreme Court are required to have proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence; must be natural-born citizens of the Philippines, at least forty years old, with at least fifteen years of experience as a judge of a lower court or law practice in the country.

They hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of 70, or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of the office.

Marquez's appointment completes the 15-member high tribunal. He replaced Associate Justice Edgardo delos Santos, who availed of optional retirement in June last year.

Two of the 15 justices will reach the mandatory retirement age under the present administration -- Carandang on Jan. 9, 2022, and Perlas-Bernabe on May 14, 2022.

Marquez, who was appointed last Sept. 27, and Hernando are the two youngest incumbent justices at 55 years old and will reach mandatory retirement age in 2036. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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