Reyes takes oath as new SC magistrate


MANILA – Court of Appeals (CA) presiding Justice, Justine Andres Reyes Jr., on Friday took his oath before Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno as the newest appointee of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Supreme Court.

Reyes took his oath at the Dignitaries Lounge of SC around 1 p.m with his family.

SC Justices Estela Perlas Bernabe, Bienvenido Reyes, Jose Catral Mendoza, Teresita Leonardo-De Castro and Antonio Carpio witnessed the oath-taking.

Reyes, the third appointee of Duterte in the High Court, will take the position vacated by Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes who compulsorily retired at the age of 70 on July 6, 2017.

Reyes, a graduate of Ateneo Law and fraternity brother (Utopia) of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, has been with the judiciary for 30 years.

Now 67, he has three years to serve in the High Court.

His father, Andres Reyes Sr., also served as presiding justice of CA while his grandfather, Alex Reyes, was also a former SC justice.

He was appointed to the CA in 1999 and served as its presiding justice for the past seven years.

After graduation from law school, Reyes worked with the Office of the Ombudsman before his appointment as Metropolitan Trial Court judge in Makati in 1997 and San Mateo, Rizal in 1990.

Reyes was handpicked from a shortlist of seven nominees submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) last month. He topped the list after earning the unanimous votes of all seven members of the council tasked to vet nominees to judicial posts.

The JBC, the seven-man council constitutionally tasked to screen nominees for vacant posts in the judiciary and the Offices of the Ombudsman, is chaired by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

The two ex-officio members are Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II for the executive and Senator Richard Gordon for Congress.

The regular members of JBC are retired SC Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez for retired magistrates, lawyer Jose Mejia for the academe, lawyer Milagros Fernan-Cayosa for the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and retired Judge Toribio Ilao for the private sector.

The President earlier promoted Sandiganbayan Samuel Martires and CA Associate Justice Noel Tijam to the SC.

Duterte is set to appoint another SC justice for the post to be vacated by the retirement of Associate Justice Jose Mendoza in August.

President Duterte is expected to appoint at least 12 justices in the SC during his six-year term. with Monica B. Guevarra-OJT/