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          he expected long vigil turned out to be a short wait. There was still daylight when the 2010 Bar exams results were announced
          on March 17, to the pleasant surprise of the 2010 Bar examinees and their supporters who had trooped to the Supreme
    Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, Chair of the 2010
Committee on Bar Examinations, in a press briefing
held around five in the afternoon announced that a
total of 982 out of 4,847 examinees passed the 2010
Bar Examinations held on September 5, 12, 19, and
26 last year at the De La Salle University in Taft
Avenue, Manila. Cesareo Antonio S. Singzon, Jr. of
Ateneo de Manila University Law School topped
with a rating of 89%.
    Joining Singzon, Jr. in the top 10 are Filemon Ray
L. Javier, Ateneo de Manila University (86.95%); Paolo
Carlo C. Tolentino, Arellano University (86.80%);
Janette R. Ancog, Ateneo de Davao University
(85.90%); Johana T. Sunga, Ateneo de Manila
University (85.85%); Krizelle Marie F. Poblacion,
University of the Philippines (85.65%); Maria
Christina C. Ortua and Krystal Lyn T. Uy, both from
the University of the Philippines (85.05%); Joanna
Eileen M. Capones, University of the Philippines
(84.80%); William Benson S. Gan, Ateneo de Manila
University (84.75%); and Glenn C. Carampatana,
University of San Carlos, and Darren L. Salipsip,
Arellano University (84.55%).
   The number of those who made the cut represents
20.26% of the total number of examinees, Justice
                                                                       At around five in the afternoon March 17, Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, Chair of the 2010 Committee on Bar Examinations,
Morales added. The exams were administered                             announces a total of 982 out of 4,847 examinees have passed the 2010 Bar Examinations to the crowd (inset) who had gathered
through Deputy Clerk of Court and Bar Confidant                        at the Supreme Court.
Atty. Ma. Cristina B. Layusa.
   Justice Morales also announced that the                  , the official website of the Supreme                                        Total Number     Total Number of
examiners were Atty. Sedfrey M. Candelaria and                        Court.                                                                           Year                                                 Percentage
                                                                                                                                                                      of Examinees    Those Who Passed
Justice Rosalinda A. Vicente (Political and
                                                                         Justice Roberto A. Abad is the Chairperson of the                           2009            5,903             1,451           24.58%
International Law), Philippine Regulatory
Commission Commissioner Jennifer Jardin-Manalili                      2011 Committee on Bar Examinations.                                            2008            6,364             1,310           20.58%
                                                                                                                                                     2007            5,626             1,289           22.91%
and Labor Undersecretary Hans Leo J. Cacdac                               This year’s Bar examinations will be conducted in
(Labor and Social Legislation); Atty. Rita Linda V.                                                                                                  2006            6,187             1,893           30.60%
                                                                      all four Sundays of November as follows: First
Jimeno (Civil Law); Court of Tax Appeals Justice                                                                                                     2005            5,607             1,526           27.22%
                                                                      Sunday: Political and International Law, and Labor                                                                Bar exams results for the last
                                                                                                                                                The following are the statistics on the1,659
Juanito C. Castañeda, Jr. and Atty. Serafin U.                                                                                                       2004            5,249                             31.61%
                                                                      and Social Legislation (morning) and Taxation                             10 years:
Salvador, Jr. (Taxation); Atty. Llewellyn L. Llanillo                                                                                                2003            5,349             1,108           20.71%
                                                                      (afternoon); Second Sunday: Civil Law (morning) and
(Mercantile Law); Court of Appeals Justice                            Mercantile Law (afternoon); Third Sunday: Remedial                             2002            4,659             917             19.68%
Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr. and Court of Appeals                      Law, and Legal Ethics and Forms (morning) and                                  2001            3,849             1,266           32.89%
Justice Renato C. Dacudao (Ret.) (Criminal Law); Atty.                Criminal Law (afternoon); Fourth Sunday: Trial                                 2000            4,698             979             20.84%
Rodrigo Lope S. Quimbo and Atty. Herminio Harry                       Memorandum (morning) and Legal Opinion
L. Roque, Jr. (Remedial Law); and Supreme Court                       (afternoon).                                           one panel grading the memorandum or decision essay
Justice Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez (Ret.) and Court                                                                         while the other the legal opinion essay.
of Appeals Justice Remedios A. Salazar-Fernando                           Starting this year, the Supreme Court also will
                                                                      implement the following reforms in the Bar                Since this is the first time that the above format will
(Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises).
                                                                      Examinations: 1. the coverage of the Bar Examinations  be implemented, the answers of all candidates in the
   The 2010 Bar examinations was the second                           shall be drawn up by topics and sub-topics rather essay-type examinations will be corrected irrespective
lowest passing percentage mark in the past 10 years,                  than by just stating the covered laws; 2. the Bar of the results of their MCQ exams which will be known
higher only by .78 from the 19.68 passing percentage                  Examinations shall be comprised of multiple-choice- earlier because these will be checked electronically.
in 2002.                                                              question (MCQ) examinations and essay-type with           The Court conducts the Bar examinations pursuant
   The 2010 Bar exams also mark the last under the                    the results of the MCQ and essay-type examinations to Article VIII, Sec. 5 of the Constitution which provides
old mostly essay-type test format.                                    being given weights of 60% and 40%, respectively, in that it shall have the power to promulgate rules
                                                                      the computation of the candidate’s final grade; and 3. governing the admission to the practice of law.
   The list of successful Bar examinees were shown                    the examiners in all eight Bar subjects shall, apart
on three LCD monitors set up at the Supreme Court                     from preparing the MCQs for their respective subjects,    The first Bar exams were held in 1901, with 13
front yard and was simultaneously viewed at                           be divided into two panels of four members each with examinees.

  SC Disbars Former Law Dean,                                              The Court found that in 1992, Ricafort, then the Dean of the
                                                                      College of Law of Aquinas University in Legazpi, Albay, obtained
                                                                                                                                                     “He [Ricafort] reneged on his duty to render an accounting to
                                                                                                                                                his clients showing that he had spent the amounts for the particular

  Erring Lawyer
                                                                      the amounts of PhP65,000 and PhP15,000 from his clients Arnulfo           purposes intended,” held the Court. “He was thereby presumed to
                                                                      and Erlinda Tarog on the pretext that the said amounts would be           have misappropriated the moneys for his own use to the prejudice
                                                                      deposited in court to counter the PhP60,000 deposit of the buyer          of his clients and in violation of the clients’ trust reposed in him. He
  By Darylle Evie Mae C. Catabay and Anna Katrina M. Martinez
                                                                      of the Tarogs’ foreclosed property, and that he would prepare and         could not escape liability, for upon failing to use the moneys for the
                                                                      file the memorandum for his clients.                                      purposes intended, he should have immediately returned the moneys
      The Supreme Court has ordered the disbarment of a former
                                                                                                                                                to his clients.”
  law dean for gross violation of general morality and of                 Ricafort, however, deposited the amount of PhP65,000 in his
  professional ethics “that impaired public confidence in the legal   personal account without the consent of the Tarogs and failed to               That this administrative offense was not the first charged and
  profession and deserved punishment” and another lawyer for          return the money upon demand. He also did not file the memorandum         decided against Ricafort aggravated his liability. The Court had
  gross misconduct and willful disobedience of the Court’s            he proposed to file and had failed to return the amount of PhP15,000      indefinitely suspended Ricafort for his failure to turn over the proceeds
  orders.                                                             upon demand.                                                              of a sale of realty to the complainant who had authorized him to sell
                                                                                                                                                the realty in her behalf.
      In a per curiam decision, the Court ruled that disbarment is        The Court disbarred Ricafort for violating Canon 16, Rule 16.01
  the “commensurate punishment” for Atty. Romulo L. Ricafort,         and Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The Court also       In a separate case, the Court En Banc ordered the name of Atty.
  for grave misconduct for his failure to account for and return      directed the Bar Confidant to strike Ricafort’s name from the Roll of     Luna B. Avance stricken off from the Roll of Attorneys after she was
  the sums of money he had received from his clients in               Attorneys, and ordered Ricafort to return to Erlinda Tarog the sums       found to have continued to practice law despite a five-year
  connection with a civil action to recover their property from a     of PhP65,000 and PhP15,000 plus interest of six percent per annum         suspension order, and after she had failed to comply with the Court’s
  foreclosing banking institution.                                    reckoned from the demand made on December 3, 2002.                        resolutions.                                          Con’t. on page 3
   2     MARCH 2011                                                                                                                                                                    Volume XII • Number 03

                                                       SC Oks Referral Complaint Against Sen. Villar to Senate                                                        PAGCOR Exempt From VAT,
                                                       Committee on the Whole                                                                                         Not Corp Income Tax
                                                       By Jen T. Tuazon                                                                                               By Arcie M. Sercado

SC Clears PDI Staff of Libel
                                                           The Supreme Court has ruled that the                 Sen. Villar ’s accusation that the Ethics                  The Philippine Amusement and Gaming
                                                       transfer of the complaint involving the C-5 Road         Committee, where the complaint was first filed,       Corporation (PAGCOR) is exempt from Value-
                                                       Extension Project against Senator Manny B.               could not act with fairness on his case that          Added Tax (VAT) but not from corporate income
By Gleo Sp. Guerra                                     Villar from the Senate Ethics Committee to the           prompted Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson as Ethics             tax.
                                                       Senate Committee of the Whole does not                   Committee Chair to move the responsibility
     Upholding the constitutionally guaranteed
                                                       violate the Senator’s right to due process.              from this Committee to be undertaken by the                Thus the Supreme Court En Banc held when
freedom of the press, the Supreme Court
                                                                                                                Senate acting as a Committee of the Whole.            it declared valid and constitutional sec. 1 of RA
recently found lack of probable cause in the
                                                            In an En Banc decision penned by Senior             Under these circumstances, the referral of the        9337, which amended sec. 27 (c) of the National
criminal complaint for libel filed by the City
                                                       Justice Antonio T. Carpio, the Court partially           investigation to the Senate Committee of the          Internal Revenue Code of 1997 (NIRC) by excluding
Prosecutor of Makati against Isagani M. Yambot,
                                                       granted the petition for prohibition with prayer         Whole is an “extraordinary remedy undertaken          PAGCOR from the enumeration of government-
Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, Jose Ma. D. Nolasco,
                                                       for issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction         by the Ethics Committee and approved by a             owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs)
Artemio T. Engracia, Jr., and Volt Contreras of
                                                       and/or temporary restraining order filed by              majority of the members of the Senate,” the           exempted from corporate income tax. The Court
the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI staff). The libel
                                                       Senators Villar, Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., Joker        Court ruled.                                          also ruled that BIR Revenue Regulations No. 16-
charge stemmed from a “not quite accurate”
                                                       P. Arroyo, Francis N. Pangilinan, Pia S.                                                                       2005, insofar as it subjects PAGCOR to 10% VAT,
article that saw print in the PDI quoting a female
                                                       Cayetano, and Alan Peter S. Cayetano, ruling                 The Court also held that the adoption of the      is null and void for being contrary to the NIRC.
prosecutor that Judge Escolastico U. Cruz, Jr.
                                                       that the referral of the investigation of Senator        Rules of the Ethics Committee by the Senate
“still has a pending case of sexual harassment                                                                                                                            Petitioner PAGCOR argued that its exclusion
                                                       Villar to the Senate Committee on the Whole              Committee of the Whole did not violate Sen.
filed with the Supreme Court.”                                                                                                                                        from the enumeration of GOCCs exempted from
                                                       was a valid extraordinary remedy under the               Villar’s right to due process as the Constitution
     In a 12-page decision penned by Justice           circumstances. It also held that in the same             gives Congress the power to promulgate its            corporate income tax was violative of the equal
Teresita J. Leonardo–De Castro, the Court              manner, the adoption by the Senate Committee             own rules of proceedings with the only                protection clause of the Constitution. PAGCOR
reversed the finding of probable cause of the          of the Whole of the Rules of the Ethics Committee        limitation of observance of quorum, voting, and       also contended that such exclusion violated the
City Prosecutor as affirmed by both the                does not violate Sen. Villar ’s right to due             publication when required. “As long as these          non-impairment clause of the Constitution.
Secretary of Justice and the Court of Appeals in       process. The Court, however, held that the               requirements are complied with, the Court will
                                                                                                                                                                           However, the Court found that the exemption
view of the “glaring absence of maliciousness”         referral can take effect only upon publication of        not interfere with the right of Congress to
                                                                                                                                                                      of PAGCOR from paying corporate income tax
in the assailed portion of the news article. The       the Rules of the Senate Committee of the Whole           amend its own rules,” stressed the Court.
                                                                                                                                                                      was not based on a classification showing
Court applied the test of “actual malice,” i.e.,       because the Rules themselves mandate their
                                                                                                                                                                      substantial distinctions which make for real
that the author of the libelous remarks made           publication.                                                  While the Court held that the Constitution
                                                                                                                                                                      differences, but the exemption was granted upon
such remarks with knowledge that it was false                                                                   does not require publication of the internal rules
                                                                                                                                                                      the request of PAGCOR that it be exempt from
or with reckless disregard as to the truth or              The Court held that while ordinarily an              of the House or Senate to take effect when they
                                                                                                                                                                      the payment of corporate income tax. Moreover,
falsity.                                               investigation about alleged irregular or unethical       affect only their own members,and that the Senate
                                                                                                                                                                      after perusing the deliberations of Congress
                                                       conduct of one of the Senate’s members is within         Committee of the Whole proceedings, in its
      “It can be easily discerned that the article                                                                                                                    regarding RA 9337, the Court found that it is the
                                                       the jurisdiction of the Senate Ethics Committee,         exercise of its disciplinary power, affect only its
merely reported the statement of [the said female                                                                                                                     legislative intent that PAGCOR be subject to the
                                                       the petitioners, as members of the Minority,             own members, it also held that the publication of
prosecutor] that there was allegedly a pending                                                                                                                        payment of corporate income tax.
                                                       effectively prevented the Ethics Committee               the Rules of the Senate Committee of the Whole is
case of sexual harassment against Judge Cruz           from pursuing the investigation against Sen.             nevertheless required as the Rule itself expressly        The Court also said that “under Section 11,
and that said article did not report the existence     Villar when they refused to nominate any                 provides that publication is necessary. (GR           Article XII of the Constitution, PAGCOR’s
of the alleged sexual harassment as a confirmed        member from the Minority to the Ethics                   Nos.187714, Pimentel v. Senate Committee of the       franchise is subject to amendment, alteration or
fact,” held the Court. It agreed with petitioners      Committee. The Court also noted that it was              Whole, March, 8, 2011)                                repeal by Congress such as the amendment under
that the author (Contreras), not having any legal                                                                                                                     Section 1 of RA 9377. Hence, the provision in
training, cannot be expected to distinguish

                                                       Ex-DPWH Usec Guilty of Simple Negligence for Failure
                                                                                                                                                                      Section 1 of RA 9337, amending Section 27 (c)
between a sexual harassment suit and a suit                                                                                                                           of RA No. 8424 by withdrawing the exemption
where there was an allegation of sexual                                                                                                                               of PAGCOR from corporate income tax, which

    Quoting Borjal v. Court of Appeals, the Court
                                                       to Disclose in SALN Wife’s Business Interests                                                                  may affect any benefits to PAGCOR’s transactions
                                                                                                                                                                      with private parties, is not violative of the non-
declared that “[a] newspaper especially one            By Jen T. Tuazon                                                                                               impairment clause of the Constitution.”
national in reach and coverage, should be                  The Supreme Court found former                       was negligent for failing to comply with his
                                                                                                                                                                           The Court found that RA 9337 itself exempts
free to report on events and developments in           Department of Public Works and Highways                  duty to provide a detailed list of his assets and
                                                                                                                                                                      petitioner from VAT, and that PAGCOR’s charter,
which the public has a legitimate interest with        (DPWH) Undersecretary Salvador A. Pleyto                 businesses interests in his SALN, but his
                                                                                                                                                                      PD 1869, is a special law that grants it exemption
minimum fear if being hauled to court by one           guilty of simple negligence for failure to               negligence is only simple and not gross, in the
                                                                                                                                                                      from taxes including VAT. (GR No. 172087,
group or another on criminal or civil charges          disclose in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities,        absence of bad faith or the intent to mislead or
                                                                                                                                                                      PAGCOR v. BIR, March 15, 2011)
for libel, so long as the newspaper respects           and Net Worth (SALN) for the years 1999-2001             deceive on his part, ruled the Court. It noted
and keeps within the standards of morality and         the business interests and financial connections         that on the first page of Pleyto’s SALN, it is
civility prevailing within the general                 of his wife, in violation of RA 6713 or The Code         already clearly stated that his wife is a               COURT CALENDAR
community.” (GR No. 169895, Yambot v.                  of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public              businesswoman and that such statement was
Tuquero, March 23, 2011)                               Officials and Employees.                                 inconsistent with the intention to conceal his          APRIL 5-7
                                                                                                                wife’s businesses interests.                            Convention Seminar of the Sheriffs Confederation of
                                                            The Court, through Justice Roberto A. Abad,

SC Stops Mandaluyong City
                                                                                                                                                                        the Philippines, Legazpi City
                                                       thus reversed the ruling of the Court of Appeals              The Court also gave no weight to Pleyto’s           Seminar workshop on Dangerous Drugs Law for
                                                       and partially granted the petition by the                assertion that the Review and Compliance                Judges, Prosecutors, and Law Enforcers, Davao City

from Taking Over MRT
                                                       Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) and            Procedure provided in RA 6713 is a
                                                                                                                prerequisite to the filing of an administrative         APRIL 6-7
                                                       the Office of the President (OP) to uphold their                                                                 Information Dissemination Campaign on Small Claims
                                                       finding that Pleyto violated RA 6713. Instead,           complaint for false declarations or
By Jen T. Tuazon                                                                                                                                                        and Anti-Trafficking Cagayan de Oro City
                                                       of dismissal, however, the Court imposed on              concealments in one’s SALN. The Court ruled
    The Supreme Court has set aside the writ of        Pleyto the penalty of forfeiture of the equivalent       that nowhere in RA 6713 does it say that a              APRIL 12-14
possession in favor of Mandaluyong City over           of six months’ salary from his retirement benefits       public officer clearly violating RA 6713 must           Seminar-Workshop on Special Rules of Court on
properties forming part of the EDSA Metro Rail         for simple negligence.                                   first be notified of any concealed or false             Alternative Dispute Resolution, Cebu City
Transit (MRT) III.                                                                                              information in his SALN and allowed to                  APRIL 13-15
                                                            As the petition involved the same omissions         correct the same before he is administratively          Convention Seminar of the Process Servers Association
     The Court, through Justice Jose Portugal          as those in a previous case filed before the Court       charged. Rather, RA 6713 merely authorizes              of the Philippines, Davao City
Perez, granted the petition for review on              involving Pletyo’s 2001 and 2002 SALNs, the              the Review and Compliance Committee to
certiorari filed by the Republic, as represented       Court’s judgment in 2007 on the first case was           issue interpretative opinions regarding the             APRIL 14-15
by the Department of Transportation and                held to be conclusive upon the present case. In          filing of SALNs and officers and employees              Seminar-Workshop on Land Valuation and Just
Communications (DOTC), against the City of                                                                                                                              Compensation for Special Agrarian Court Judges,
                                                       reiterating its previous ruling, the Court held          affected by such opinions as well as all who
Mandaluyong challenging the writ of                                                                                                                                     Tagaytay City
                                                       that Pletyo’s failure to indicate the business           are similarly situated may be allowed to correct
possession issued by the Mandaluyong                   interests of his spouse, who was described in            their SALNs according to that opinion,                  APRIL 26
Regional Trial Court (RTC) in the City’s favor.        his SALN as a businesswoman, constituted as a            explained the Court. It added that the only             Seminar-Workshop on the Rules of Procedure for Small
The Court ruled that the writ of possession,           violation of sec. 8 of RA 6713 which obligates           concern of the Review and Compliance                    Claims Clases, Manila
which involved EDSA MRT III railways, trains,          public officials and employees “to accomplish            Procedure is to determine whether SALNs are
and three stations, has no force and effect for                                                                                                                         APRIL 27-29
                                                       and submit declarations under oath of their              complete and in proper form and not on the              Quarterly Training on Multi-Sectoral Capacity-Building
being premature as the validity of the ownership       assets, liabilities, net worth and financial interests   substance of what is stated in the SALN such            on Environmental Laws and the Rules of Procedure for
of the subject properties is still pending             including those of their spouses and of                  as the truth and accuracy of the answers stated         Environmental Cases (Region 4A, Quezon City
determination in the Court of Appeals (CA).            unmarried children under 18 years old.”                  in it. “Officials and employees are assumed to
                                                                                                                                                                        APRIL 28-29
                                                                                                                be accountable for the veracity of the entries
    The Court stressed that a writ of possession,         The Court, however, found Pleyto’s act as                                                                     Information Dissemination Campaign on Small Claims
                                                                                                                considering that the SALNs are under oath,”             and Anti-Trafficking, Sorsogon/Legazpi City
which in this case arose from the exercise of          not tantamount to dishonesty and grave                   the Court stressed. (GR No. 176058, PAGC v.
alleged ownership by Mandaluyong City over             misconduct but only simple negligence. Pleyto            Pleyto, March 23, 2011)
the EDSA MRT III properties by virtue of a tax
delinquency sale, is a mere incident in the                                                                                                                             THIS MONTH IN HISTORY
transfer of title. Thus it was premature to cause
the transfer of titles to the City’s name pending                                                                                                                       MARCH 2
the determination before the CA of the validity                                                                                                                         SC designates 99 Regional Trial Courts nationwide as
of the tax assessment made by Mandaluyong                                                                                                                               special courts to hear, try
                                                                                                                                                                        and decide cases involving Extrajudicial Killings in 2007
City on the properties as well as the auction
sale it subsequently held.                                                                                                                                              MARCH 6
                                                                                                                                                                        Lourdes Paredes-San Diego is appointed the first
     The Court added that the denial by the RTC                                                                                                                         woman Presiding Justice of the
to issue an injunction or TRO in the petition for                                                                                                                       Court of Appeals in 1980
writ of possession does not automatically give                                                                                                                          MARCH 7
Mandaluyong City “the liberty to proceed with                                                                                                                           A Provisional Law on the Judiciary is passed by the
the actions sought to be enjoined.” It further noted   Corporation (MRTC), which had entered into a             Assessment and Warrant of Levy with a prayer            Malolos Congress in 1899
that “this case is, ultimately, between a local        Build, Lease, and Transfer agreement with the            for temporary restraining order and preliminary
                                                       DOTC with Metro Rail Transit Corporation                                                                         MARCH 12
government’s power to tax and the national                                                                      injunction. The petitions for TRO and                   The Philippine Judicial Academy is established with
government’s privilege of tax exemption. That          Limited for the construction of a light rail system      preliminary injunction were denied and were             Ameurfina A. Melencio
issue needs full hearing and deliberation, as          for EDSA. The City, after assessing the value            thus elevated before the CA, while the issue of         Herrera as Chancellor in 1996 (AO 35-96)
indeed, the issue pends before the RTC, at first       of the EDSA MRT properties, demanded                     the validity of the tax assessment remained
                                                       payment of real property taxes amounting to                                                                      MARCH 25
instance. Such trial of facts and issues must                                                                   pending in the lower court. Pending their               The jurisdiction of MeTCs, MTCs, and MCTCs is
proceed.”                                              PhP 1.3 billion from MRTC. As the actual use,            resolution, however, Mandaluyong City                   expanded in 1994 (RA 7691)
                                                       possession, and operation of the EDSA MRT III            proceeded with a public auction where the
   In 2001, the Office of the City Assessor of         System had already been turned over to DOTC,                                                                     MARCH 30
                                                                                                                properties were forfeited in favor of the City.
Mandaluyong issued Tax Declaration No. D-013-                                                                                                                           Maria V. Francisco is the first woman admitted to the
                                                       the latter, together with MRTC, filed a case for         (GR Nos.184879, Republic v. City of                     Bar in 1911
06267 in the name of Metro Rail Transit                Declaration of Nullity of Real Property Tax              Mandaluyong, February, 23, 2011)
  Volume XII • Number 03                                                                                                                                                                      MARCH 2011

 By Darylle Evie Mae C. Catabay                                                                                Preserving and Protecting the Rule of Law
 Justice Abraham B. Borreta: Deciding Cases Without Fear or Favor                                                                                “To preserve and
                                                                                                                                             p r o m o t e
                                                                                                                                                                        became an associate lawyer of Atty. Jose D.
                                                                                                                                                                        Palma and then a Senior Partner at the
                                                          Judiciary where he was first assigned to the                                       Constitutionalism and      Monteclar Ingles Sibi Trinidad Law Firm also
                              The           judicial
                                                          Regional Trial Court Branch 59 of Baguio                                           the rule of law” is        in Cebu.
                          philosophy of newly
                                                          City. In November 2001, he was named to                                            Justice        Gabriel
                          appointed CA Justice
                                                          the Pasig Regional Trial Court’s Branch 154.                                       “Gabby” T. Ingles’             In October 2001, he was appointed
                          Abraham B. Borreta is to
                                                          He was promoted to the Court of Appeals                                            judicial philosophy. “I    presiding judge of the Cebu City Regional
                          “give justice to every
                                                          on March 1.                                                                        believe that actual and    Trial Court Branch 58. He was also designated
                          man” by deciding cases
                                                                                                                                             p e r c e i v e d          spokesman of the Palace of Justice by Cebu
                          according to the facts of
                                                             During his tenure as a trial judge, he was                                      independence are           Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge
                          the case, according to the
                                                          most proud of his decision in the Pasig City                                       equally important,”        Meinrado Paredes.
                          law, and according to his
                                                          shabu tiangge case, where he convicted                                             says the 59-year old
                                                          operator Amin Imam Boratong and his wife                                           newly      appointed           From 1997 to 1999, he served as
                           Justice Borreta did not        Sheryl Molera Boratong in 2009.                                                    Court of Appeals           president of the Integrated Bar of the
  originally plan on becoming a lawyer. Growing                                                                                              magistrate.                Philippines (IBP) Cebu City Chapter. He also
                                                              For Justice Borreta, a good CA justice                                                                    writes a column for Cebu Daily News on recent
  up, he wanted to be a doctor. He, however,              “must have judicial courage, that is, to decide
  eventually decided to enter law school and in                                                                   While growing up in Tagbilaran City in                Supreme Court rulings of public interest.
                                                          what he thinks is right. [He must] decide cases     Bohol, young Gabby wanted to be a priest.
  1973, graduated from the University of the              according to what the law prescribes without
  Philippines College of Law. He later placed 8th                                                             However, after six years in Christ the King                   On being appointed to the second highest
                                                          fear or favor.”                                     Mission Seminary in Quezon City, he was                   court of the land, he said, “I feel privileged
  in the Bar examinations of that year.
                                                               Expressing his commitment, Justice Borreta     advised to leave the seminary because of his              to be joining the Court of Appeals and of
      He engaged in private practice from 1981            said he will “serve the Court of Appeals with       being a student activist. He then studied                 course, honored to get the appointment even
  to 1988, working at the law firm Castillo Laman         distinction, honesty and integrity” until his       Philosophy at the University of San Carlos                without any political endorsement.”
  Tan and Pantaleon. In 1993, he joined the               retirement.                                         (USC) in Cebu City.
                                                                                                                                                                            For Justice Ingles, in order to be a good
                                                                                                                  Gabby later took up law and taught                    CA justice, “It is fundamental not only to be

Justice Victoria Isabel A. Paredes: Law is Her Life                                                           Philosophy at the same time. As a law student,
                                                                                                              he was “deeply involved in helping farmers
                                                                                                              and other marginalized groups organize
                                                                                                                                                                        always knowledgeable about the Canons of
                                                                                                                                                                        Judicial Ethics, but also, and even more
                                                                                                                                                                        importantly, to always bear witness and live
                               For someone who               Upon passing the Bar exams, she worked in        themselves.” In 1981, he graduated cum laude.             by such Canons and rules.”
                           did not even dream of         the private sector as a corporate lawyer. In 1985,
                           becoming a lawyer,            she began her government service as state                In 1982, the year he passed the Bar exams,                Justice Ingles is a loving husband to
                           newly appointed Court         counsel at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in        he joined the academe. He has been teaching               wife Maria Alice and father to eight-month-
                           of Appeals Associate          Manila. She became Quezon City assistant city        law for the past 29 years.                                old daughter Annika Caelyn Gabrielle,
                           Justice Victoria Isabel       prosecutor a year after.                                                                                       both of whom witnessed him take his oath
                           A. Paredes is doing well                                                              From 1994 to 2000, he was dean of the                  as CA Justice. He considers them his
                           in the legal profession.          For Justice Paredes, her promotion to the        University of San Carlos College of Law. He               inspiration.
                                                         appellate court justice happened in God’s time.
                                 As a child, she first   “I knew and, with conviction, I can say that His
                            wanted to be a nun, then
                            a teacher, and later on, a
                                                         time is the best time.”
                                                                                                              Justice Pamela Ann A. Maxino: An Honor and
                                                                                                              Privilege to Serve
                            visual artist or painter.        A Judicial Excellence Awardee in 2009 and
But her father, a criminal lawyer, saw her potential     2010 in the Second-Level Courts category,
as a lawyer.                                             she received the Chief Justice Cayetano
                                                         Arellano Award for Outstanding RTC Judge in                                               Justice Pamela            She earned a degree in Chemistry at the
    Indeed, her family expected her to go either         2010.                                                                                Ann           Maxino’s    Silliman University before entering its College of
into law or politics as most of them did. Her                                                                                                 appointment to the        Law, where she graduated magna cum laude in
great-uncle, the late Quintin B. Paredes, for                Her gender-sensitive decisions on cases                                          second highest court      1989.
instance, was also a lawyer who became Senate            involving violations of RA 8353 (Anti-Rape                                           of the land is one more
President in 1955.                                       law) and RA 7610 which is against child abuse,                                       proud moment for her          While waiting for the results of the Bar exams
                                                         exploitation and discrimination also earned                                          family.                   in 1990, she worked at the Court of Appeals as
     Justice Paredes finished her law degree with        her the Most Outstanding Gender-Sensitive                                                                      Private Secretary in the Office of Justice Venancio
honors in 1979 at the University of the                  Judge in the Philippines award in 2009.                                                Born on October         D. Aldecoa, Jr., her professor in criminal law. In
Philippines, where she also graduated cum laude                                                                                            3, 1956 in Dumaguete         1992, she worked as Court Attorney V for the
with the degree Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy               Justice Paredes discloses her personal                                        City, Negros Oriental,       Office of Justice Cezar D. Francisco. She was
in 1975. She was the first lawyer among her              tenet, thus: “The law is my life; Justice is my                                   Justice Maxino comes         appointed Division Clerk of Court of the CA-First
siblings; her three brothers also became lawyers.        moral compass; and God is my guide.”                                              from a family of             Division in 1995. Three years later, she became
                                                                                                                                           achievers. Her father        State Prosecutor of the National Prosecution
  from page 1, SC Disbars Former Law Dean                                                                                                  Luciano was a lawyer,        Service.
                                                                                                              her brother Roderick is the presiding judge of
      In 2003, Avance was suspended from the practice of law for five years and ordered to return             Regional Trial Court, Branch 32 of Negros Oriental,           In 1999, Justice Maxino joined the Judiciary as
  PhP3,900 to her client after she was found guilty of gross misconduct for abandoning her client             while her sister Carol is an Undersecretary in the        Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court Branch
  in bad faith and failing to comply with the Court’s orders. While suspended, however, Avance                Department of Science and Technology. Her other           1, Guagua, Pampanga. In 2002, she was promoted
  appeared in three cases as “Atty. Liezl Tanglao,” before the sala of Judge Consuelo Amog-Bocar              siblings are all professionals.                           to Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court,
  of Iba, Zambales, Regional Trial Court Branch 71. Avance failed to comment on Judge Amog-                                                                             Branch 51, also in Guagua. She became Vice-
  Bocar’s letter-report despite being ordered by the Court in several resolutions.                                 Justice Maxino finished both elementary and          Executive Judge and later Executive Judge in 2004.
                                                                                                              high school at the Foundation University, where
      On September 29, 2009, the Court issued a resolution finding Avance guilty of indirect                  her father was former president. (In 2006, she was            Justice Maxino considers her being a CA justice
  contempt for such failure and ordering her to pay a PhP30,000 fine. It also sternly warned her that         to be chosen Outstanding Alumnus awardee by               “an honor and privilege to serve God, country,
  a repetition of the same or similar infractions will be dealt with more severely. Despite due notice,       the Foundation University.)                               and people.”
  however, she still failed to pay the fine. (AC No. 8253, Tarog v. Ricafort, March 15, 2011; AC No.
  534, Santeco v. Avance, et al, February 22, 2011)


                                        he Judicial and Bar Council’s Atty. J Conrado
                                     P. Castro, representing the Integrated Bar of the
                                     Philippines, died in a vehicular accident last
                                  March 19. A memorial mass was held for him on
                                  March 25 at the SC Training Center.

                                                                                                              DCA Villasor Retires
                                                                                                                                                                        Handgun Acquisition Program; Chairperson of
                        Atty. Castro is an alumnus of the University of                                                                                                 the Technical Working Group, Committee On
                                                                                                                                                                        Security; Liaison Officer to the National Bureau
                     the Philippines, from where he received both his                                         By Patricia Grace P. Libo-on
                                                                                                                                                                        of Investigation-Task Force Judiciary
    undergraduate (Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, 1980) and law (1985)                                                                When appointed as                Protection; Chairperson, Bids and Awards
    degrees. He was admitted to the Bar in 1985, with a grade of 83.015%.                                                         Assistant             Court           Committee for Infrastructure; Chairperson, Bids
                                                                                                                                  Administrator in 2008,                and Awards Committee for Consultancy
                                                                                                                                  ACA Jesus Edwin A.                    Services; Professor II, PHILJA Department of
       Atty. Castro started his legal career in the private sector, working as                                                    Villasor, in an interview             Court Management; Vice-chairperson, PHILJA
                                                                                                                                  carried by Benchmark,                 Department of Court Management. Vice
    an associate for several law firms. In 2003, Atty. Castro became the                                                          advised       judges      to          Chairperson, Regional Court Administration
    youngest regular member of the Judicial and Bar Council. As a JBC                                                             “perform their work to the            Office Oversight Committee 7th Judicial Region;
    member, he was known for his dedication and commitment to his duty.                                                           best of their abilities, and          Vice-Chairperson, Drug Prevention Committee
                                                                                                                                  strive to do better to                for First- and Second-Level Courts;
    As a testament to this, the JBC on July 3, 2007, issued a resolution                                                          improve and bring honor               Representative of the Court Administrator,
    commending Atty. Castro for demonstrating “fairness, objectivity and                                                          to the Judiciary.” Until his          Committee to Review the Plantilla Positions
    impartiality so as to generate highly qualified nominees for judicial                                                         retirement three years                and Salary Grades of Officials and Employees
                                                                                                              later on March 30, 2011, Deputy Court                     in the Judiciary; Member, Technical Working
    positions” in all phases of the judicial selection process.                                               Administrator Villasor apparently heeded his              Committee, Multi-Sectoral Anti-Corruption
                                                                                                              own advice.                                               Council; Member, Technical Working Group,
       Over the years, Atty. Castro served the IBP and the Philippine Bar                                         While in the Court, DCA Villasor was part
                                                                                                                                                                        Rule of Procedure for Environmental Cases.
    Association (PBA) in numerous capacities over the years. He was also                                      of several committees. He was the Chairperson                 Admitted to the Philippine bar on March 9,
    a Court of Appeals mediator. (Patricia P. Libo-on)                                                        of the Committee to Review the Lower Courts’              1972, DCA Villasor started his law career in the
                                                                                                              Operations and Organization; Chairperson of               private sector working as an associate in the
                                                                                                              the Supreme Court Motorcycle, Computer and                Quasha Law Firm.
  4        MARCH 2011                                                                                                                                                                                                         Volume XII • Number 03


                                                    n celebration of this year’s Women’s               comprehensive women’s human rights law                 To achieve these worthy goals, committed                      As chairperson of the 2010 Bar
                                                    Month, the judiciary adopted the                   that seeks to eliminate discrimination                 advocates, especially those from the legal                Examinations, I congratulate the 982
                                                    slogan, “Magna Carta of Women,                     against women by recognizing, protecting,              profession, are needed. Hopefully, a                      successful examinees. The nation is
                                                 Philippine CEDAW: In Support of the                   fulfilling and promoting the rights of Filipino        number of such advocates will emerge                      pinning its hope on them – the new
                                                 Millennium      Development      Goals:               women, especially those in the                         from those who passed the 2010 Bar                        workers in the vineyard of justice – as
                                                 Celebrating a Nation’s Quest for                      marginalized sectors.”                                 Examinations.                                             they improve the landscape of the legal
                                                 Development towards the New                                                                                                                                            profession and hopefully bear the fruit
                                                 Millennium.”                                          The Magna Carta of Women is supportive of                   May they keep in mind that law is not                of gender equality and women
                                                                                                       the Millennium Development Goals                       just a noble profession; it is an ennobling               empowerment.
                                                 Republic Act No. 9710 (August 14, 2009)               (MDGs), which aim to (1) eradicate extreme             profession. More than just a circle of a few
                                                 or the Magna Carta of Women is the                    poverty and hunger; (2) achieve universal              who are stamped with a status that exacts
                                                 Philippine version of the United Nations              primary education; (3) promote gender                  high moral principles, the law profession
                                                 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms            equality and empower women; (4) reduce                 should lend greater dignity to its every area
                                                 of Discrimination Against Women                       child mortality; (5) improve maternal health;          of operation. The majesty of the law should
                                                 (CEDAW). It is, as the Philippine                     (6) combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other             hold its upright sway and spread its beneficial
  Hon. Conchita Carpio                           Commission on Women (formerly                         diseases; (7) ensure environmental                     influence on virtually all aspects of social life
                                                 National Commission on the Role of                    sustainability; and (8) develop a global               and spheres of human activity, most urgently
                                                 Filipino Women) summarizes, “a                        partnership for development.                           those areas identified by the MDGs.

EJOW Visits Isabela Province
By Joachim Florencio Q. Corsiga

                               Chairperson of the Committee on the Enhanced
                          Justice on Wheels Program Justice Mariano C. Del Castillo,
                          Court Administrator and SC spokesperson Jose Midas
                          P. Marquez, and Deputy Court Administrator Raul
                          Bautista Villanueva led the launching of the EJOW
                          program in the Province of Isabela in Santiago City, on
                          March 25, 2011. The EJOW caravan also travelled to
                          the cities of Cauayan and Ilagan on March 28 and 29,

    Also present as lecturers for the Information dissemination campaign
for barangay officials were Deputy Court Administrator Nimfa C. Vilches,
Justice Oswaldo D. Agcaoili (ret.), and Judge Rosalina L. Pison (ret.).

     The EJOW Program, which features the use of a specially-designed bus
that serves as a mobile court, has so far resulted in the provisional release
of 5,192 inmates from jails across the country.

    The program launch in Isabela also included a new component, a
                                                                                                        Members of the Justice and Court Reporters Association and the Justice Reporters Organization who took part in the Court’s Forum for Media on Judiciary
separate team building activity for the court employees. DCA Villanueva                                 Coverage in Baguio City on March 30, 2011 pose for posterity with forum lecturers, namely Atty. Maria Victoria Gleoresty Sp. Guerra (seated, second from left),
explained that the activity was conceptualized to give something back to                                Atty. Ismael G. Khan (seated, third from left), Mr. Reynaldo G. Panaligan (seated, fourth from left), and Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez (seated, fifth
the court staff for their efforts in the preparation of the EJOW program, and                           from left).
also to provide them a venue to express their concerns.

     The EJOW launch resulted in the release of 29 inmates from the different
city jails, 222 inmates being given medical and dental attention, 147 inmates                          SC Conducts Media Forum on Judiciary Coverage
being the recipients of free legal aid, 49 cases successfully court-annexed                            By Anna Katrina M. Martinez
mediated, with 46 cases being reset.
                                                                                                           To “demystify” the Supreme                         Chief of the PIO and editor in chief of                   court-media relations issues such as lack
    One of those released, due to the complainant’s failure to prosecute,                              Court and its procedures, the Public                   Benchmark, presented a summary and                        of understanding of the judicial process
was Gina Asentista, an inmate in the Cauayan City Jail, who was originally                             Information Office (PIO), with support                 analysis of significant Court decisions                   and the use of legalese in court decisions,
charged with illegal recruitment and incarcerated for a year and six months.                           from the Program Management                            and issuances on libel, contempt, and                     among others. Court Administrator and
Asentista expressed her gratitude to DCA Villanueva.                                                   Office, conducted the 2011 Forum for                   the right to privacy. Mr. Reynaldo G.                     incumbent PIO Chief Jose Midas P.
                                                                                                       Media on Judiciary Coverage last March                 Panaligan, Senior Reporter of the                         Marquez then spoke on the roles of the
    A total of 629 barangay officials, from among the three cities, participated                       30 at the Training Center of the Baguio                Manila Bulletin, then delivered the                       Court and its justices, highlighting the
in the information dissemination lectures on enforcement of barangay                                   Country Club.                                          presentation on court reporting do’s and                  procedural traditions involved in the
compromise agreements in small claims courts, court-annexed mediation,                                                                                        don’ts on behalf of Ms. Fil C. Sionil,                    appointment and in the discharge of
barangay protection orders in cases of violence against women and children,                                The Forum was attended by                          Managing Editor of the Manila Bulletin.                   functions of the 15-member tribunal.
diversion proceedings for children in conflict with the law, and land titles                           Manila-based print, radio and                          Mr. Panaligan added valuable personal
and laws on the environment.                                                                           television broadcast, and online media                 inputs and insights based on his 34-year                      Questions from the participating
                                                                                                       persons who are members of the                         experience of covering the justice and                    members of the media were entertained
   Isabela has been the EJOW Program’s 2nd stop this year. So far, over 500                                                                                   courts beat.                                              and answered by the four resource
                                                                                                       Justice and Court Reporters
inmates have benefitted from the EJOW Program this year.                                                                                                                                                                persons during an open forum following
                                                                                                       Association (JUCRA) and the Justice
                                                                                                       Reporters Organization (JUROR).                             Retired Assistant Court Administrator                the lectures. Court Administrator

SC Conducts Personal Security Training
                                                                                                                                                              and current Philippine Judicial Academy                   Marquez then gave the closing remarks
                                                                                                          Atty. Maria Victoria Gleoresty Sp.                  professor Atty. Ismael G. Khan, also the                  and led the awarding of certificates of

for Judges in Quezon City
                                                                                                       Guerra, Director IV and Assistant                      first Chief of the PIO, gave a lecture on                 participation.

By Anna Katrina M. Martinez
                                                                                                       SC Amends Rule on Service of Summons to Private Foreign Entities
    The Supreme Court, through the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA),                               By Patricia Grace P. Libo-on
conducted the Personal Security Training for Judges for the 3rd, 4th, and the
National Capital Judicial Regions, at the Imperial Palace Suites in Quezon                                 The Supreme Court En Banc has provided for means to serve summons to private foreign entities that are not
City from March 22 to 24, 2011.                                                                        registered in the Philippines or have no resident agent.

    Fifty-six selected judges from the second-level and first-level courts                                  As amended, Rule 14, sec. 12 of the Rules of Civil Procedure now provides that service of summons may be made to
were selected by the PHILJA to participate in the three-day training. The                              a private juridical entity not registered in the Philippines or one who has no resident agent with leave of court, through
judges were oriented lectures on threats assessment, crime prevention and                              any of the following means: a) by personal service coursed through the appropriate court in the foreign country with the
basic first aid, and actual instructions on firearms orientation and                                   assistance of the Department of Foreign Affairs; b) by publication once in a newspaper of general circulation in the
marksmanship through a series of lectures and marksmanship training.                                   country where the defendant may be found and by serving a copy of the summons and the court order by-registered mail
                                                                                                       at the last known address of the defendant; c) by facsimile or any recognized electronic means that could generate proof
    The training was a joint project of the SC Committee on Security, the                              of service; or d) by such other means as the court may in its discretion direct. (AM No. 11-3-6-SC, Amendment of Section
PHILJA, and the Office of the Court Administrator, in coordination with the                            12 Rule 14 of the Rules of Court on Service upon Foreign Private Juridical Entity, March 15, 2011)
National Bureau of Investigation, and was the 11th of its kind since the
signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Judicial Security between
the Supreme Court and the NBI in January 2008.
                                                                                                       Court Admonishes Vizconde, Fines Ex-VACC Chair
                                                                                                       By Jay B. Rempillo

                                                                                                          The Supreme Court has admonished Lauro Vizconde for publicly stating that the Court had been bought when it
                                                                                                       acquitted Hubert Jeffrey Webb and co-accused, and that a High Court justice put pressure on its members to vote for
                                                                                                       acquittal when Vizconde himself was not prepared to substantiate his allegations.

                                                                                                           In an eight-page resolution, the Court also found former Volunteer Against Crime and Corruption Chair Dante
                                                                                                       Jimenez guilty of contempt of court for badmouthing the members of the Court and fined him PhP100,000. (The penalty
                                                                                                       was later reduced to PhP30,000 to conform with sec. 6, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court.)

                                                                                                           The Court ruled that Jimenez “cannot invoke his right to freedom of speech and expression to justify his foulmouthed
                                                                                                       remarks against the members of the Court.” Citing Roxas v. De Zuzuaregui, Jr., the Court reiterated that “the making of
                                                                                                       contemptuous statements directed against the Court is not an exercise of free speech, but an abuse of such right.
                                                                                                       Unwarranted attacks on the dignity of the courts cannot be disguised as free speech, for the exercise of said right cannot
                                                                                                       be used to impair public respect and confidence in the courts.”

                                                                                                           Citing the prosecution’s failure to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the Supreme Court on December 14,
 PHILJA Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna welcomes the judges participants to the Personal Security          2010 acquitted Webb and six other co-accused for the rape with homicide of Estrelita Vizconde and daughters Jennifer and
 Training for Judges for the 3rd, 4th, and the National Capital Judicial Regions held from March 22-   Carmela. The Court ordered the immediate release of Webb, et al. (GR No. 176389, Lejano v. People; GR No. 176864, People
 24, 2011 at the Imperial Palace Suites in Quezon City.                                                v. Webb, Min. Res., February 15, 2011)
 Volume XII • Number 03                                                                                                                                                             MARCH 2011

Judiciary Celebrates Women’s Month
T   he Supreme Court Committee on Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary
    (CGRJ), chaired by Justice Conchita Carpio Morales led the Judiciary in
celebrating Women’s Month this March with the theme Magna Carta of Women,
the Philippine CEDAW: In support of the Millennium Development Goals.

By Atty.Anne Perpetual S. Rivera

     The CGRJ held an image enhancement
seminar (Journey to a New You) on March 9 at
the SC Training Center, Centennial Building.
attended by CGRJ members and SC chiefs of
office, including Philippine Judicial Academy
(PHILJA) Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna
formerly Co-Chair of the CGRJ. Resource
person Ms. Baby V. Doble, a member of the
Association of Image Consultants International
(Singapore Chapter), gave tips on good
grooming, proper table etiquette, and dressing         games for all lady employees in the afternoon
for success, among others. The seminar was             of the same day.
conducted in coordination with the SC Office
of Administrative Services and was emceed                  Winners in the fun run activities were Mylyn
by CGRJ member Atty. Gleo Sp. Guerra of the            Muriel (1st Place), Hannah Cardinosa (2nd
SC Public Information Office.                          Place), and Jocelyn dela Cruz (3rd Place), while
                                                       the winners in the bowling events were Lily
    On March 11, a training session on                 Baniqued (1st Place), Doris dela Cruz (2nd
parenting skills for court employees, whose            Place), and Vanessa Liyo (3rd Place). A
children get their early education at the the SC       badminton doubles game was also held, with
Day Care Center, was conducted. Earlier, or            Meleen Canicula and Jasmin Aquino (1st Place)
on March 2, there was a gender sensitivity             and Hannah Cardinoza and Mylyn Muriel (2nd
training for court employees.                          Place) emerging as winners.

       Justice Morales, in her message during              Now on its third year, the Sandiganbayan
CGRJ-sponsored flag ceremony on March 21,              photo-essay contest this year had the theme
noted that six out of the 12 examinees who             Babae Bilang Ina. Besting 23 other entries were
obtained the highest ratings in the 2010 Bar           three winning photos, respectively titled Aking
Examinations are women. The Chair of the               Guro, Aking Ina by Mark Oliver Mercader of
Committee on 2010 Bar Examinations noted that          the Office of Presiding Justice Edilberto G.
this brings to 60 -- as opposed to 49 men – the        Sandoval (1st Prize and the People’s Choice
total number of females who made it to the top         Award); Motherhood -- A Blessing and a
10 Bar passers from 2000 to 2010.                      Responsibility of Hanna Leila Francisco of the
                                                       Office of Associate Justice Alexander G.
    Deputy Court Administrator Nimfa C.                Gesmundo (2nd Prize); and Oras at
Vilches led the prayer, while Atty. Guerra led         Pagmamahal ng Isang Ina, Walang Katumbas
the singing of the National Anthem and Judicial        na Bagay o Anumang Halaga of the Office of
Reform Program Administrator Geraldine Faith           Associate Justice Napoleon E. Inoturan (3rd
A. Econg the Panunumpa sa Watawat.                     Prize).

                                                           As part of empowering women, the GAD
                                                       Focal Point sponsored last March 17, seminar-
                                                       workshops on make-up and hairstyling, held in
                                                       cooperation with the Ricky Reyes Learning
                                                       Institute; and the basics of self-defense, in
                                                       cooperation of the UP College of Human
By Elizabeth L. Sorianosos

      The Court of Appeals Gender and
 Development Focal Point Committee chaired
 by Justice Priscilla J. Baltazar-Padilla and co-
 chaired by Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison
 began its celebration on March 8.The
 Committee sponsored a film-showing of Eat,
 Pray, Love, starring Julia Roberts. Atty. Flordeliz
ATTY. ROAN I. LIBARIOS Chief of Office of Policy and
 Cabanlit-Fargas,                                      COURT OF TAX APPEALS
                                                       By Atty. Elsie R. Tiauzon-Forteza
 Development Research of the Judicial and Bar
 Council (JBC), discussed the gender sensitive             Lakas ng Kababaihan, Sagot sa Kaunlaran
 issues touched upon in the film, giving emphasis      was the winning entry in the Court of Tax Appeals
 on the need to show love and respect towards          (CTA) slogan-writing contest which ushered in
 women and recognizing their economic and              the tax court's celebration of Women’s Month.
 political roles as well as achievements in the        Atty. Margarette Y. Guzman, First Division Clerk
 society.                                              of Court, submitted the winning entry

     The CA-GAD Focal Point Committee also                 In coordination with the CTA Health and
initiated the distribution of the Book on Laws,        Welfare Plan Officers, a flu immunization activity
Rules, Issuances for Cases Involving Domestic          was held on March 3 and 7. A total of 174 CTA
Relations, Women, and Children to all CA Justices.     employees availed themselves of the free
     On March 11, a total of 92 female CA
employees availed themselves of free breast                  To empower women with additional
examination conducted by breast cancer                 livelihood opportunities, a tiangge (flea market)
surgeon Dr. Cristina Santos. Organized by the          was held on March 15 and16.
Sub-committee on Health and Welfare, Dr.
Santos also served as resource speaker during               An afternoon Bowl-o-Fun participated in by
                                                       223 CTA personnel was held on March 18 at the
                                                                                                            CJ Corona Approves Release of JDF
the launching of a free breast cancer lecture
titled Keep Abreast at the CA Auditorium.              Ever Gotesco Commonwealth Lanes. To further
                                                       deepen the awareness of women empowerment,
                                                       the teams were named after Filipina stalwarts on     By Sheena Mae T. Dagum
                                                       women empowerment, namely Melchora                       Chief Justice Renato C. Corona has authorized the release of the Additional Cost of Living
                                                       Aquino, Gabriela Silang, Marcella Agoncillo.         Allowance (COLA) under the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) for Ferbruary 2011 as an
                                                       and Gregoria de Jesus. Team Melchora Aquino          additional benefit to qualified court officials and personnel.
                                                       members emerged as the victors.
                                                                                                                The Chief Justice granted the release of the additional COLA to qualified court personnel for
                                                           On March 24 to 25 a Reorientation on Gender      February 2011, pursuant to Memorandum Order No. 15-2011, dated March 04, 2011, in amounts
                                                       and Development and the Magna Carta of Women         ranging from PhP2,300 to PhP2,500, depending on one’s salary grade.
By Sandra Peralta-Calugay
                                                       was held at the Subic International Hotel for all
                                                       CTA personnel.                                           The additional benefit under the JDF is given to all qualified employees and officials of the
    The Sandiganbayan-GAD Focal Point                                                                       Judiciary pursuant to and by virtue of the authority vested upon the Chief Justice under PD 1949.
started its celebration of Women's Month with             Capping the CTA celebration, a talk on            The said allowance is taken from the eighty per centum (80%) allotted for the purpose from the
sports activities. There was a fun run held in the     social graces by Ms. Doble was held on               income of the JDF from February 1-28, 2011.
morning of March 5, 2011 followed by bowling           March 29.
  6       MARCH 2011                                                                                                                                                                                                            Volume XII • Number 03

 FOREIGN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE MEMBERS VISIT SC. Members of the Foreign Chambers of Commerce pose for posterity with Chief Justice Renato C. Corona (fifth from left) during a courtesy call on the chief magistrate on March 17, 2011 at the
 Dignitaries’ Lounge, New Building, Supreme Court, Faura, Manila. (From left) Nobuo Fujii of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, John Forbes of the American Chamber of Commerce, Robert Sears of the American Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Hubert d' Aboville of
 the European Chamber of Commerce, Chief Justice Corona, SC Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro, Mr. Julian Payne of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Henry Schumacher of the European Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Roger Lim of the European Chamber
 of Commerce, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, Judicial Reform Program Administrator Judge Geraldine Faith Econg, and Atty. Rolando Villones of the Korean Chamber of Commerce. During the meeting, the Foreign Chambers of Commerce members
 personally asked the chief magistrate on how they could help the Judiciary in its reform initiatives and took special interest on the Rules on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), reciprocity and environmental rules, as well as the Judiciary’s integrity initiatives.

Judiciary Supports Business Sector
By Jay B. Rempillo

    When public interest is at stake, the Judiciary,                equitably reduced or even invalidated
without fail, will work with the business sector.                   unconscionable interest rates.

    Thus Chief Justice Renato C. Corona assured                          In Solidbank Corporation v. Permanent Homes,
the business people during the 26th National                        Inc. (GR No. 171925, July 23, 2010), the Court
Convention of the Bankers Institute of the                          ruled that there is an indispensable requirement
Philippines, Inc. held on March 19, 2011 at the                     for mutual notice and written consent on the
Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City                                     imposition of increased interest rates which, in
                                                                    this case, seemed to be on the high side. In
     “I assure you that the Supreme Court and                       other words, the debtor should be given the
all inferior courts will be working with business,                  option to prepay the loan if he does not want to
not against it, especially if public interest is at                 pay the higher interest rate being demanded by
stake. I believe that government, including the
courts, should play the role of facilitator of
                                                                    the lender, regardless of any contrary provision
                                                                    in the promissory note. The Court said that a                            Protect Your Kidney
                                                                                                                                            Signs and Symptoms of Having Urinary Stones
growth. This can only be done with good                             “contract containing a condition which makes
governance,” said Chief Justice Corona.                             its fulfillment dependent exclusively upon the
                                                                    uncontrolled will of one of the contracting
                                                                    parties is void. ”                                                      Compiled by Dr. Prudencio P. Banzon, Jr.
     Chief Justice Corona said that the banking
industry plays a key role in directly spurring
national, institutional, and individual socio-                          In Pasco v. Heirs of Filomena de Guzman,                              Small, smooth kidney stones may remain in the kidney or may pass without causing pain.
economic growth on one hand, while indirectly                       represented by Cresencia de Guzman (GR No.                              These are stones that lodge in the tube that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder
distributing wealth on the other. As such, there                    165554, July 26, 2010), the Court, clarified that                       (ureter) and may cause the urinary system to spasm and produce pain. The pain is related to
is a need for the supervision and regulation of                     excessive and exorbitant interest rates should be                       the size of the stone and often radiates from the lower back to the side of the groin.
the banking industry by the government. In                          reduced.
some indirect way, the judiciary is a part of this                                                                                          A “small” stone (usually 4 mm in diameter or less) has a 90 percent chance of spontaneous
control mechanism, the chief magistrate added.                          Chief Justice Corona said that there are other
                                                                                                                                            passage. Stones that are 8 mm in diameter or larger usually require medical intervention.
                                                                    recent and landmark decisions which are
    Chief Justice Corona underscored that                           important to the banking industry, including those                      OTHER SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF KIDNEY STONES
bankers and banks have to understand that the                       pertaining to negotiable instruments, foreclosure                       MAY INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
reason the Supreme Court has been intervening                       of mortgages, which BAIPhil hopefully will also
                                                                                                                                              Blood in the urine (hematuria); increase frequency of urination; nausea and vomiting; pain
and setting legal standards on imposable interest                   include in its continuing training to lessen the
                                                                                                                                            during urination (stinging, burning); tenderness in the abdomen and kidney region; and signs
is to thwart a banking crisis just like what                        possibility of litigation. “As all bank executives
                                                                    and lawyers know, litigation in many instances                          and symptoms of urinary tract infection such as fever, chills, loss of appetite.
happened to Iceland. He said that despite
occasional periods of difficulty, the country has                   only serves to sap bank resources unnecessarily                         • HOW ARE THESE STONES FORMED?
not undergone a serious banking crisis. Iceland                     and distracts our focus from more productive
                                                                                                                                              Kidney stones form when there is a high level of calcium (hypercalciuria), oxalate
deregulated its banks in 2001 and the said                          undertakings,” he said.
                                                                                                                                            (hyperoxaluria), or uric acid (hyper-uricosuria) in the urine; lack of citrate in the urine; or
industry almost collapsed less than ten years
                                                                        While the bankers and banks have kept up
                                                                                                                                            insufficient water in the kidneys to dissolve waste. When dehydration occurs, high levels of
later in 2008-2010. The Iceland banking crisis,
                                                                    with high technology, such as electronic fund                           substances that do not dissolve completely (e.g., calcium, oxalate, uric acid) may form crystals
Chief Justice Corona said, was the result of a
flawed economic policy coupled with bad                             transfer at the point of sale, automatic teller                         that slowly build up into kidney stones.
governance and lack of regulation and control.                      machines, mobile banking, online banking,
                                                                                                                                            • WHAT ARE KIDNEY STONES?
                                                                    telephone banking, video banking, direct credit,
                                                                                                                                              Kidney stones or calculi are hardened mineral deposits that form in the kidneys. Originating
      In our country, the High Court has been                       direct debit, internet banking, and numerous
                                                                    other convenient methods, the banking industry                          as microscopic particles, these deposits develop into stones overtime. Medically, they are
filling in the gaps left by Central Bank Circular
                                                                    should also “continue to evolve and improve                             called nephrolithiasis or renal stone disease.
No. 905 which effectively removed the ceiling
on interest rates on loans or forbearance of                        on ways to achieve better services and thereby
                                                                                                                                               The kidneys filter waste products from the blood that are later excreted through the urine,
money, goods, or credit.                                            immortalize the fairly immutable basic character
                                                                                                                                            a byproduct of the kidneys. When waste materials in the urine do not dissolve completely,
                                                                    of the banking industry, that of connecting its
                                                                    customers with capital surpluses to its                                 crystals and kidney stones are likely to form.
   Chief Justice Corona cited the following
decisions when the Supreme Court took                               customers with capital deficits,” stressed the                            Small stones can cause discomfort as they pass out of the body. Regardless of size, stones
cognizance of CB Circular No. 905 but                               Chief Justice.
                                                                                                                                            may pass out of the body, become lodged in the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the
                                                                                                                                            bladder (ureter) and cause severe pain that begins in the lower back and radiates to the side of
                                                                                                                                            groin. A lodged stone can block the flow of urine causing pressure to build in the affected
                                                                                                                                            ureter and kidney. Increased pressure results in stretching and spasm which cause severe

                                                                                                                                            • WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
                                                                                                                                               Diet plays an important role in the development of kidney stones, especially in patients
                                                                                                                                            who are predisposed to the condition. A diet high in sodium, fats meat, and sugar, unrefined
                                                                                                                                            carbohydrates increases the risk for renal stone disease. Recurrent kidney stones may form in
                                                                                                                                            patients who are sensitive to the chemical byproducts of animal protein and who consume
                                                                                                                                            large amounts of meat.

                                                                                                                                               High doses of Vitamin c (i.e., more than 500 mg a day) can result in high levels of oxalate
                                                                                                                                            in the urine (hyperoxaluria) and increase the risk for kidney stones. Oxalate is found in berries,
                                                                                                                                            vegetables (e.g., green beans, beets, spinach, squash, tomatoes), nuts, chocolate, and tea.

                                                                                                                                            VERY HIGH PURINE
                                                                                                                                            Anchovies, brains, gravies, kidneys, liver, sardines, sweet breads
                                                                                                                                            HIGH PURINE
                                                                                                                                            Bacon, beef, calf tongue, chicken soup, duck, goose, pork rabbit, shellfish,
                                                                                                                                            MODERATELY HIGH PURINE
                                                                                                                                            Asparagus, bouillon, cauliflower, chicken, crab, ham, beans, lobster, mushroom, oatmeal,
                                                                                                                                            oysters, peas, salmon, spinach, tuna
 Chief Justice Corona assures business people that the Supreme Court and all inferior courts “will be working with business,
 not against it, especially if public interest is at stake” during the 26th National Convention of the Bankers Institute of the             Source: Brochure by Metro Drug, Inc.
 Philippines, Inc. held on March 19, 2011 at the Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City.
Volume XII • Number 03                                                                                                                                                         MARCH 2011

 PHILJA at 15: “Greening the Academy”
 By Anna Katrina M. Martinez
                                                                                                                                      GREENING THE ACADEMY ON THE
                                                                                                                                            15th ANNIVERSARY:

     The Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA),      who have demonstrated exceptional                                                         BRIEF REMARKS
the educational arm of the Supreme Court for        performance and exemplary work attitude in
all justices and judges nationwide, adopted the     the Academy.
                                                                                                                                         Justice Justo P. Torres, Jr. (Ret.)
theme Greening the Academy as it celebrated its
15 th founding anniversary through a tree-             Chancellor Azcuna conferred the                                                            Vice Chancellor
planting activity held last March 11, 2011 at the   Chancellor’s Award to Gloria M. Gatchalian,
PHILJA Training Center in Tagaytay City.            Executive Assistant III of the Office of the                     We are gathered here this morning to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the
                                                    Executive Secretary, in cognizance of her
                                                    professional integrity, dedication to work,               Philippine Judicial Academy with a special activity in its program: GREENING
     Led by incumbent PHILJA Chancellor
Adolfo S. Azcuna, Vice-Chancellor Justo P.          and outstanding performance.                              THE ACADEMY. This is as it should be – in our desire to create an
Torres, Jr., retired Supreme Court Justice and                                                                Environmental awareness so essential for the survival of mankind.
Founding PHILJA Chancellor Emeritus                     Also recognized were Atty. Joicel
Ameurfina A. Melencio-Herrera, former               Sopeña-Bote, PHILJA Attorney III of the
Tagaytay City Mayor and current Chairperson         Office of the Executive Secretary, as PHILJA                     While the greening of the Academy’s landscape may be a symbolism to
of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority        Employee of the Year for Supervisory Level for            purify the winds of change, it nevertheless, prevents the awesome dangers of
Francis N. Tolentino, court officials and PHILJA    her utmost diligence and dedication to duty
                                                    and for her exemplary leadership, and Romeo               pollution which unknowingly carry harmful ingredients of destruction to
employees planted saplings around the Training
Center compound in line with the Academy’s          A. Arcullo, Judicial Staff Employee II of the             healthy living.
goal of raising environmental awareness and         Research, Publications and Linkages Office
accountability. Also present were Court of Tax      as PHILJA Employee of the Year for Non-
                                                    Supervisory Level for diligently performing his
                                                                                                                     Aside from incalculable success of PHILJA in its objectives and programs
Appeals Presiding Justice Ernesto D. Acosta,
PHILJA Executive Secretary and retired Court        official duties and for being a team-player               as the educational unit of the Supreme Court, it has earned a respectable place as
of Appeals (CA) Justice Marina L. Buzon,            while competently handling multi-tasking                  a bastion of judicial excellence in this part of the world. I am certain, that more
PHILJA Academic Affairs Office head and             functions.
                                                                                                              will be said and written about these – for the moment let us just          concern
retired CA Justice Delilah Vidallon-Magtolis,
PHILJA Consultant and retired Supreme Court            The PHILJA also conferred on its                       ourselves about the trees we have planted because as a Chinese sage would say,
Justice Minerva P. Gonzaga-Reyes, and PHILJA        employees who have rendered 10 years of                   “planting trees is an act by which we become immortal.”
Professor and retired CA Justice Oswaldo D.         continuous service to the Academy the
Agcaoili.                                           PHILJA Loyalty Award. This year ’s Loyalty
                                                    Awardees were Joyce Abancio, Romulo                              The roots of trees strengthen and protect the soil, and provide shelter
    The tree-planting activity was followed by      Abancio, Jr., Elizalde Carmona, Lordes Dela               when it rains. It’s amazing, but like humans, trees grow where they are planted;
a recognition program for PHILJA personnel          Cruz, and Romil Q. De Leon.
                                                                                                              like people, they avoid those who would like to cut you down; but like things of
                                                                                                              beauty, trees bloom with colors unspeakable in charm and elegance – amazingly,
                                                                                                              it is not difficult to plant trees – better still we take care of them as they grow
                                                                                                              luxuriantly under the sun with therapeutic properties for those in pain and for
                                                                                                              those who will read the wisdom of the ages from the windows of the Academy
                                                                                                              they will be refreshed by the trees they see from afar.

                                                                                                                     For we know only God can make a tree!

                                                                                                                     PHILJA, like a tree is forever, Immortal! Mabuhay!

                                                                                                      Reminiscing PHILJA’s 15th Anniversary
                                                                                                      By Arsenia M. Mendoza, PHILJA

                                                                                                           It had rained in Tagaytay days before the date for the Philippine Judicial Academy’s
                                                                                                      15 th anniversary celebration drew near, but on the morning of Friday, March 11, 2011,
                                                                                                      the sky was at its bluest, the clouds their whitest. Blissful sunshine and a refreshing
                                                                                                      breeze welcomed 150 PHILJA officials, staff, consultants, guests, including six SC
                                                                                                      support staff from the medical services, PIO, and motor pool, when they arrived at the
                                                                                                      premises of the newly built PHILJA Training Center (PTC) on hilly Tagaytay.

                                                                                                          All immediately gathered around the flagpoles and sang while the flags of the
                                                                                                      Philippines, the Supreme Court, and the Academy snapped gently in the wind as they
                                                                                                      were raised. Everyone then trooped to the grounds where the tree saplings awaited
                                                                                                      planting. It was a heartwarming sight – the officials and staff, including the DENR
                                                                                                      guests, bent as they dropped saplings into the freshly dug holes in the earth, then
                                                                                                      spread and tapped the soil firmly around the roots. The PTC’s resident gardener could
                                                                                                      not help but remark, “How beautiful it would be to see all these plants grow at the same
                                                                                                      time.” Many of those present felt they had somehow renewed their bond with the
                                                                                                      earth and had heeded nature’s call, in a small way, for the restoration of its resources
                                                                                                      on this unpretentious patch of land.

                                                                                                          It was only the third consecutive year that PHILJA had celebrated its anniversary
                                                                                                      since its establishment 15 years ago. PHILJA’s officials and staff had earlier decided to
                                                                                                      hold another memorable celebration made more meaningful through a tree planting
                                                                                                      activity at the PTC. Working around the theme Greening the Judiciary, the anniversary
                                                                                                      committee set to work, drawing up plans for activities that would include an awarding
                                                                                                      ceremony for deserving PHILJA employees and a session on environmental awareness
                                                                                                      through a video presentation aimed to elicit commitment to care for our environment.

                                                                                                          Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna sressed that the day belonged to all PHILJA, “buong
                                                                                                      PHILJA,” in observation of “our anniversary, our day” in the beautiful complex “we
                                                                                                      can all be proud of.” He thanked the members of the PHILJA Development Center–
                                                                                                      Project Implementation Committee (PDC–PIC), co-chaired by working Chairperson
                                                                                                      and working Chancellor Emeritus Ameurfina A. Melencio Herrera, for their hard work
                                                                                                      in ensuring that the facility would be ready for operations this year.

                                                                                                          After a simple lunch shared over peals of laughter and pleasant conversation, the
                                                                                                      majority proceeded, upon invitation, to the lovely rustic home of Chancellor Emeritus
                                                                                                      Herrera who hosted a sweet merienda for those who came. The group was treated to
                                                                                                      an awesome view of the Taal Volcano from Justice Herrera’s wide glass windows or
                                                                                                      from the downstairs balcony facing the crater. A plus was the invitation to trek with
                                                                                                      the almost 89 year old Lady Justice, down the bush- and tree-lined path winding down
                                                                                                      and up the landscaped cliff that separated her home from the border of Taal Lake. And,
                                                                                                      surprise, surprise, the game room on the ground floor was transformed into a
                                                                                                      memorabilia room of Justice’s life and achievements, with PHILJA mementos covering
                                                                                                      half of the walls.

                                                                                                          As we boarded the buses that would take us back to Manila, we could not help but
                                                                                                      feel proud and thankful for the tangible evidences of the Academy’s never-waning
                                                                                                      efforts to sustain the pursuit of excellence in the Judiciary. We imagine their wide
                                                                                                      smiles and energized steps as they enjoy the comforts of the state-of-the-art training
                                                                                                      facility. We imagine them looking forward to benefiting from the lectures of legal
                                                                                                      experts on top of having a wonderful stay that they would long remember.

                                                                                                          As for my tree, I would like to see it grow to its full height, crowned with luxuriant
                                                                                                      green, its hardy roots pressed to the ground, its boughs raised to the God Unseen, as
                                                                                                      if in prayer, for the nurturing rain that would make it live forever. PHILJA. Vice
                                                                                                      Chancellor Justo P. Torres, Jr. reflected as he closed the program, saying that “PHILJA,
                                                                                                      like a tree, is forever, is immortal.” How nice that Joyce Kilmer ’s words come to mind
                                                                                                      at this point telling me that, no matter how I may wax romantic or philosophical,
                                                                                                      “poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.”
   8        MARCH 2011                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Volume XII • Number 03

Snap Judgments                                                            PIO Z
                                                                                O   OM

                                                                                                           Photos by Doranne I. Lim, Francisco S. Gutierrez, Cesar Tito P. Royeras, and Randy R. Samonte

                                                                                                           Captions by Arcie M. Sercado

                                                   tion O

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  Chief Justice Renato C. Corona administers the oath to the 2011 board officers and directors of the Ateneo Alumni Association (AAA) during their induction held at the Ateneo de Manila University Professional Schools, Rockwell Campus, Rockwell Drive, Makati City on
  March 16, 2011. The new board officers and directors of the AAA are President Tony Veloso, Vice-President Vince Araneta, Corporate Secretary Shar Cua, Treasurer Fritz Ocampo, and Directors Ting Bengzon, Mon Murillo, Vic Lim, Jr., Jun Orubia, Jr., Jun-Jun Capistrano,
  Jr., Raul Buan, Joey Pengson, Bob Villaroman, JQ Quesada, Ivan Henares, Joel Caballa and Brian Zialcita. Chief Justice Corona was the President of AAA in 1991.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Chief Justice Renato C. Corona exchanges pleasantries with National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Atty. Magtanggol B. Gatdula during
                                                                                                                                                                                                 the flag-raising rites of the NBI held at the NBI Headquarters, Taft Avenue, Manila on March 14, 2011. In his short remarks after the rites, Chief
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Justice Corona said that harmonizing the functions of the Supreme Court and the NBI, as major components of the Philippine criminal justice
                                                                                                                                                                                                 system, “ensures that only the guilty are prosecuted and punished according to the Constitution and applicable statutes, and that all persons
                                                                                                                                                                                                 brought before the law are assured of the zealous protection of their rights and liberties within the framework of the fundamental law of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                 land.” He ended his speech by saying that “it is thus both our challenge and our honor to serve our country and fellowmen by pursuing truth
                                                                                                                                                                                                 and justice despite the many obstacles that lie ahead.”

 Chief Justice Renato C. Corona gets a briefing from Philippine Coast Guard officers aboard the vessel, EDSA II, during an ocular
 inspection of the Manila Bay, in connection with the Supreme Court decision requiring various government agencies to rehabilitate
 the bay, on March 11, 2011. The Chief Justice was joined by some justices of the High Court and DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje
 who committed to submit the comprehensive plan for the complete rehabilitation of the bay on or before the Supreme Court-imposed
 deadline of June 30, 2011.

 University of Bohol (UB) President Atty. Victoriano B. Tirol, Jr. congratulates Chief Justice Renato C. Corona after the Chief Justice was conferred
 with the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa at the 140th Commencement Exercises of the university held in Tagbilaran City, Bohol on March
 23, 2011. The Chief Justice was conferred the degree for his “legal scholarship, professional integrity, and judicial independence.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                Chief Justice Renato C. Corona spearheads the groundbreaking ceremony of the additional Regional Trial Courts for Sarangani Province at the
                                                                                                                                                                                                Capitol Compound, Alabel, Sarangani Province on March 2, 2011. Joining him in the groundbreaking are (from left) Sarangani Governor Miguel
                                                                                                                                                                                                Dominguez, Sarangani Representative Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao, and Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Deputy Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva acts as the moderator during the open forum of the First Judges’ General Assembly, with the
 Chief Justice Renato C. Corona and Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez applaud for Centro Escolar University (CEU) School of Law and                                                     theme “SAJ IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR!,” held at the Century Seafood Restaurant, Century Park Hotel, Adriatico, Manila on March 18, 2011. The
 Jurisprudence Dean Senior Justice Josue N. Bellosillo (middle) during the launching of the latter’s latest book, “Effective Pre-Trial Technique (2011                                          event was organized by the Philippine Judges Association, Metropolitan and City Judges Association of the Philippines, Philippine Trial Judges
 edition),” held at the Student Activity Center, CEU, Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City on March 31, 2011. In his remarks during the launch, Chief                                                  League, Inc., and the Retired Judges Association of the Philippines. These four judges’ associations later on signed a Memorandum of Agreement
 Justice Corona said that the publication of the book definitely complements the Court’s efforts towards the speedy resolution of cases, and “serves                                            with the Department of Budget and Management, which provided that the judges will continue to receive their SAJ which will persist to be
 as a powerful reminder to lawyers to remain faithful to their duties, to their clients and the court.”                                                                                         separate and distinct from their basic salaries.

                                                                                                                   NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEE
                                                                                                                   List provided by the Office of Administrative Services as of March 31, 2011
                                                                                                                   ANTONIO H. ABAD, JR., Regular Member Representing the Active Law Practitioners, Legal Education Board

                                                                                                                   NEWLY APPOINTED JUSTICES AND JUDGES
                                                                                                                   List provided by the Office of the Clerk of Court as of March 31, 2011
                                                                                                                   COURT OF APPEALS ABRAHAM B. BORRETA, Associate Justice • GABRIEL T. INGLES, Associate Justice • ZENAIDA GALAPATE LAGUILLES, Associate Justice • VICTORIA ISABEL A. PAREDES, Associate • Justice CARMELITA SALANDANAN
                                                                                                                   MANAHAN, Associate Justice• PAMELA ANN ABELLA MAXINO, Associate Justice • MELCHOR QUIRINO C. SADANG, Associate Justice • RTC EMMANUEL P. PASAL, RTC, Br. 38, Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental • MTCC CARLO MARTIN
                                                                                                                   R. ALCALA, MTCC, Br. 3, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur • MCTC ADELYN PONGCOL ALVARADO, 2nd MCTC, Salay-Binuangan, Misamis Oriental CAROLYN CASIÑO DAMASING, 3rd MCTC, Kinoguitan-Sugbungcogon, Misamis Oriental


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