of the Philippine Supreme Court
January 17, 1979 – May 11, 1992
|Appointed by||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Preceded by||Ruperto Martin|
|Succeeded by||Jose Melo|
May 11, 1922 |
Ameurfina Aguinaldo Melencio-Herrera (born May 11, 1922) served as an Associate Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court from 1979 until 1992. She was the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court, filling the vacancy left by the retirement of the first female Supreme Court Justice, Cecilia Muñoz-Palma
Born in Cabanatuan City to Jose P. Melencio and Carmen Aguinaldo, Herrera is a granddaughter of Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the Philippines. Among the future Justice's baptismal godfathers was Supreme Court Justice George A. Malcolm, who also happened to be the founder of the law school she would later attend, the University of the Philippines College of Law.
Herrera studied law at the University of the Philippines and graduated cum laude in 1947. She topped the bar examinations administered that year with a 93.85% having the highest grade for women. After a brief stint with a New York City law firm, Herrera engaged in private practice for several years until she was appointed to the judiciary.
Her husband, Dr. Florentino B. Herrera, Jr., served as Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Manila. They have three children: Florentino III, Victoria Lourdes and Milagros Gloria.
Supreme Court career
When Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency following the 1986 EDSA Revolution, the incumbent members of the Supreme Court, all of whom were Marcos appointees, were asked to resign. Herrera, along would Claudio Teehankee, Sr., Vicente Abad Santos, Nestor Alampay, and Hugo Gutierrez, Jr. were the only incumbent justices who retained their seats on the bench. President Aquino however opted to extend new appointments to these justices in lieu of extending their previous appointment by President Marcos. Prior to re-appointing Herrera, Alampay and Gutierrez, Jr. on April 16, 1986, Aquino appointed three new members to the High Court, Jose Feria, Marcelo Fernan and Andres Narvasa. As a result, Herrera, Alampay and Gutierrez, Jr. were supplanted in seniority by the Aquino appointees.
When Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan resigned in 1992 to run for the vice-presidency, Herrera was widely regarded as a leading contender to replace him. However, because she was overtaken in seniority by Narvasa after the 1986 reorganization, it was Narvasa who was named Chief Justice, even though Herrera had served on the Court longer. Herrera retired in May 1992.
Herrera was named as the Chancellor of the Philippine Judicial Academy upon its inception in 1996. The Academy is tasked with the professional training of members of the Philippine judiciary. Herrera served as Chancellor until May 2009.
- Sevilla, Victor J. (1985). Justices of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Vol. III. Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers. pp. 149–151. ISBN 971-10-0139-X.
- Supreme Court E-library: The Memorabilia Room
|Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines