Supreme Court of the Philippines
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012)|
|Supreme Court of the Philippines
Kataas-taasang Hukuman ng Pilipinas
Seal of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
|Established||June 11, 1901|
|Composition method||Presidential appointment from the list of preferred nominees made by the Judicial and Bar Council|
|Authorized by||Constitution of the Philippines|
|Judge term length||At most thirty years
(retirement at the age 70)
|Number of positions||15|
|Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines|
|Currently||Maria Lourdes Sereno|
|Since||August 24, 2012|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Supreme Court of the Philippines (Filipino: Kataas-taasang Hukuman ng Pilipinas; colloquially referred to by the Spanish: Corte Suprema), is the highest court in the Philippines. It is presided over by a Chief Justice and is composed of fifteen (15) Justices, including the Chief Justice. Pursuant to the Constitution, the Supreme Court has "administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof".
The Supreme Court Complex, which was formerly the part of the UP Manila campus, occupies the corner of Padre Faura Street and Taft Avenue in Manila, with the main building directly fronting the Philippine General Hospital. Until 1945, the Court held office within Cavite.
- 1 Constitutional role
- 2 Cases
- 3 Current Justices
- 4 Former Supreme Court Justices of the Philippines
- 5 History
- 6 Philippine court system
- 7 See also
- 8 Literature
- 9 References
- 10 External links
A person must meet the following requirements in order to be appointed to the Supreme Court: (1) natural-born citizenship; (2) at least 40 years old; and (3) must have been for fifteen years or more a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines. An additional constitutional requirement, though less precise in nature, is that a judge "must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence." Upon a vacancy in the Court, whether for the position of Chief Justice or Associate Justice, the President fills the vacancy by appointing a person from a list of at least 3 nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council.
Beginning with the 1935 Constitution, Supreme Court Justices are obliged to retire upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. Some Justices had opted to retire before reaching the age of 70, such as Florentino Feliciano, who retired at 67 to accept appointment to the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization and Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez who retired at 68 due to health reasons. The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines provides that: "Section 11, Article VIII. The Members of the Supreme Court xxx shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office." Since, 1901, it was only incumbent Associate Justice Alicia Austria-Martinez who resigned for health reasons. Thus, on September, 2008, Austria-Martinez, citing health reasons, filed a letter to the Court through Reynato Puno, tendering her resignation effective April 30, 2009, or 15 months before her compulsory retirement on December 19, 2010. In the October 1 Judicial and Bar Council's en banc deliberations, Reynato Puno ruled: “The court merely noted it. We don’t have to approve it... it is her right.” During the JBC hearing, a JBC member said "Austria-Martinez had wanted to retire earlier because of health reasons. We were told she had health problems even when she was in the CA.” Retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Artemio Panganiban stated: "I am saddened that Justice Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez has opted to retire early from the Supreme Court due to 'health reasons.' She is not bedridden. Neither is she physically or mentally incapacitated, but she has chosen to retire on April 30, 2009 because she felt she could no longer cope with the heavy caseload."
The powers of the Supreme Court are defined in Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution. These functions may be generally divided into two – judicial functions and administrative functions. The administrative functions of the Court pertain to the supervision and control over the Philippine judiciary and its employees, as well as over members of the Philippine bar. Pursuant to these functions, the Court is empowered to order a change of venue of trial in order to avoid a miscarriage of justice and to appoint all officials and employees of the judiciary.  The Court is further authorized to promulgate the rules for admission to the practice of law, for legal assistance to the underprivileged, and the procedural rules to be observed in all courts.
The more prominent role of the Court is located in the exercise of its judicial functions. Section 1 of Article VIII contains definition of judicial power that had not been found in previous constitutions. The judicial power is vested in “one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.”  This judicial power is exercised through the judiciary’s primary role of adjudication, which includes the “duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.” 
The definition reaffirms the power of the Supreme Court to engage in judicial review, a power that had traditionally belonged to the Court even before this provision was enacted. Still, this new provision effectively dissuades from the easy resort to the political question doctrine as a means of declining to review a law or state action, as was often done by the Court during the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos. As a result, the existence of “grave abuse of discretion” on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government is sufficient basis to nullify state action.
The Court is authorized to sit either en banc or in divisions of 3, 5 or 7 members. Since the 1970s, the Court has constituted itself in 3 divisions with 5 members each. A majority of the cases are heard and decided by the divisions, rather than the court en banc. However, the Constitution requires that the Court hear en banc “[a]ll cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international or executive agreement, as well as “those involving the constitutionality, application, or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and other regulations”. The Court en banc also decides cases originally heard by a division when a majority vote cannot be reached within the division. The Court also has the discretion to hear a case en banc even if no constitutional issue is involved, as it typically does if the decision would reverse precedent or presents novel or important questions.
Far and away the most common mode by which a case reaches the Supreme Court is through an appeal from a decision rendered by a lower court. Appealed cases generally originate from lawsuits or criminal indictments filed and tried before the trial courts. These decisions of the trial courts may then be elevated on appeal to the Court of Appeals, or more rarely, directly to the Supreme Court if only “questions of law” are involved. Apart from decisions of the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court may also directly review on appeal decisions rendered by the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals. Decisions rendered by administrative agencies are not directly appealable to the Supreme Court, they must be first challenged before the Court of Appeals. However, decisions of the Commission on Elections may be elevated directly for review to the Supreme Court, although the procedure is not, strictly speaking, in the nature of an appeal.
Review on appeal is not as a matter of right, but "of sound judicial discretion and will be granted only when there are special and important reasons therefor". In the exercise of appellate review, the Supreme Court may reverse the decision of lower courts upon a finding of an "error of law". The Court generally declines to engage in review the findings of fact made by the lower courts, although there are notable exceptions to this rule. The Court also refuses to entertain cases originally filed before it that should have been filed first with the trial courts.
The other mode by which a case reaches the Supreme Court is through an original petition filed directly with the Supreme Court, in cases where the Constitution establishes “original jurisdiction” with the Supreme Court. Under Section 5(1), Article VIII of the Constitution, these are “cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and corpus”. Resort to certiorari, prohibition and mandamus may be availed of only if "there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law".
However, notwithstanding this grant of original jurisdiction, the Court has, through the years, assigned to lower courts such as the Court of Appeals the power to hear petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto and habeas corpus. As a result, the Court has considerable discretion to refuse to hear these petitions filed directly before it on the ground that such should have been filed instead with the Court of Appeals or the appropriate lower court. Nonetheless, cases that have attracted wide public interest, or where a speedy resolution is of the essence, have been accepted for decision by the Supreme Court without hesitation.
In cases involving the original jurisdiction of the Court, there must be a finding of "grave abuse of discretion" on the part of the respondents to the suit to justify favorable action on the petition. The standard of "grave abuse of discretion", a markedly higher standard than "error of law", has been defined as "a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment amounting to lack of jurisdiction"
Former Supreme Court Justices of the Philippines
|Roberto A. Abad||May 22, 1944||August 7, 2009 – May 22, 2014||Dante O. Tiñga||Reynato Puno||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo|
|Maria Lourdes Sereno||July 2, 1960||August 13, 2010 – August 25, 2012||Renato C. Corona||Renato C. Corona||Benigno Aquino III|
|Conchita Carpio-Morales||June 19, 1941||August 26, 2002 – June 19, 2011||Jose A.R. Melo, JR.||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo|
|Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura||June 13, 1941||February 7, 2007 - June 13, 2011||Reynato Puno||Reynato Puno||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo|
|Renato C. Corona||October 15, 1948||April 9, 2002 – May 17, 2010||Arturo B. Buena||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo|
|Minita V. Chico-Nazario||December 5, 1939||February 10, 2004 – December 5, 2009||Josue N. Bellosillo||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo|
|Leonardo A. Quisumbing||November 6, 1939||January 15, 1998 - November 6, 2009||Justo P. Torres Jr.||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Fidel Ramos|
|Consuelo Ynares-Santiago||October 5, 1939||April 6, 1999 – October 5, 2009||Antonio Martinez||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Joseph Estrada|
|Dante O. Tiñga||May 11, 1939||July 4, 2003 - May 11, 2009||Vicente V. Mendoza||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo|
|Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez||December 19, 1940||April 9, 2002 – April 30, 2009||Bernardo P. Pardo||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo|
|Adolfo S. Azcuna||February 16, 1939||October 17, 2002 - February 16, 2009||Santiago M. Kapunan||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo|
|Ruben T. Reyes||January 3, 1939||August 2, 2007 – January 3, 2009||Romeo J. Callejo, Sr.||Reynato Puno||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo|
|Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez||February 28, 1938||December 22, 2000 – February 28, 2008||Fidel P. Purisima||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Joseph Estrada|
|Cancio C. Garcia||October 30, 1937||October 7, 2004 - October 30, 2007||Jose C. Vitug||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo|
|Romeo J. Callejo, Sr.||April 28, 1937||August 26, 2002 – April 28, 2007||Sabino R. De Leon Jr.||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo|
|Reynato Puno||May 17, 1940||June 28, 1993 – December 7, 2006||Hugo Gutierrez||Andres Narvasa||Fidel Ramos|
|Artemio Panganiban||December 7, 1936||October 5, 1995 – December 19, 2005||Camilo Quiason||Andres Narvasa||Fidel Ramos|
|Jose C. Vitug||July 15, 1934||June 28, 1993 - July 15, 2004||Andres Narvasa||Fidel Ramos|
|Josue N. Bellosillo||November 13, 1933||March 3, 1992 - November 13, 2003||Andres Narvasa||Corazon Aquino|
|Vicente V. Mendoza||April 5, 1933||June 7, 1994 - April 5, 2003||Andres Narvasa||Fidel Ramos|
|Santiago M. Kapunan||August 12, 1932||January 5, 1994 - August 12, 2002||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Fidel Ramos|
|Sabino R. De Leon Jr.||June 9, 1932||October 12, 1999 - June 9, 2002||Flerida Ruth Pineda-Romero||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Joseph Estrada|
|Jose A.R. Melo, JR.||May 30, 1932||August 10, 1992 - May 30, 2002||Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Fidel Ramos|
|Arturo B. Buena||March 25, 1932||January 5, 1999 - March 25, 2002||Renato C. Corona||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Joseph Estrada|
|Bernardo P. Pardo||February 11, 1932||September 30, 1998 - February 11, 2002||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Joseph Estrada|
|Minerva P. Gonzaga-Reyes||September 25, 1931||January 5, 1999 - September 25, 2001||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Joseph Estrada|
|Fidel P. Purisima||October 28, 1930||January 20, 1998 - October 28, 2000||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Fidel Ramos|
|Flerida Ruth Romero||August 1, 1929||October 21, 1991 - August 1, 1999||Abraham Sarmiento||Marcelo Fernan||Corazon Aquino|
|Antonio M. Martinez||February 2, 1929||November 10, 1997 - February 2, 1999||Hilario Davide, Jr.||Joseph Estrada|
|Hilario G. Davide, Jr.||December 20, 1935||January 24, 1991 – November 29, 1998||Irene R. Cortes||Marcelo Fernan||Corazon Aquino|
|Florenz D. Regalado||October 13, 1928||July 29, 1988 - October 13, 1998||Marcelo Fernan||Corazon Aquino|
|Ricardo J. Francisco||February 13, 1928||January 5, 1995 – February 13, 1998||Andres Narvasa||Fidel Ramos|
|Justo P. Torres, Jr.||November 01, 1927||March 11, 1996 - November 1, 1997||Andres Narvasa||Fidel Ramos|
|Regino C. Hermosisima Jr.||February 2, 1929||January 10, 1995 – October 18, 1997||Andres Narvasa||Fidel Ramos|
|Teodoro R. Padilla||August 24, 1927||January 12, 1987 - August 22, 1997||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Florentino P. Feliciano||March 14, 1928||August 08, 1986 - December 13, 1995||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Camilo D. Quiason||July 18, 1925||February 1, 1993 - July 18, 1995||Andres Narvasa||Fidel Ramos|
|Abdulwahid A. Bidin||April 07, 1925||January 12, 1987 - May 7, 1995||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Isagani A. Cruz||October 11, 1924||April 16, 1986 - October 11, 1994||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Rodolfo A. Nocon||March 15, 1924||December 2, 1991 - March 15, 1994||Andres Narvasa||Corazon Aquino|
|Carolina Griño-Aquino||October 22, 1923||February 2, 1988 - October 22, 1993||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Jose C. Campos, Jr.||April 09, 1923||September 3, 1992 - April 9, 1993||Andres Narvasa||Fidel Ramos|
|Hugo Gutierrez, Jr.||January 29, 1927||May 14, 1982 - March 31, 1993||Enrique Fernando||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Leo D. Medialdea||August 17, 1927||May 2, 1988 - November 7, 1992||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Edgardo L. Paras||July 4, 1922||April 16, 1986 - July 4, 1992||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera||May 11, 1922||January 17, 1979 – May 11, 1992||Cecilia Muñoz-Palma||Enrique Fernando
Claudio Teehankee, Sr.
|Ferdinand Marcos (1979)
Corazon Aquino (1986)
|Andres Narvasa||November 30, 1928||April 10, 1986 – December 1, 1991||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Abraham F. Sarmiento||October 08, 1921||January 25, 1987 - October 08, 1991||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Emilio A. Gancayco||August 20, 1921||January 12, 1987 - August 20, 1991||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Irene R. Cortes||October 20, 1921||February 1, 1987 – October 20, 1990||Jose Feria||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Marcelo Fernan||October 24, 1927||April 9, 1986 – June 30, 1988||Florenz D. Regalado||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Pedro Yap||July 1, 1918||April 8, 1986 – April 18, 1988||Leo D. Medialdea||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Jose Feria||January 11, 1917||April 7, 1986 – January 10, 1987||Felix Makasiar||Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||Corazon Aquino|
|Vicente Abad Santos||July 12, 1916||January 17, 1979 – July 12, 1986||Fred Ruiz Castro||Fred Ruiz Castro||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Lino M. Patajo||September 23, 1916||July 31, 1985 - April 16, 1986||Felix Makasiar||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Efren I. Plana||June 28, 1928||November 20, 1981 – April 16, 1986||Enrique Fernando||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Hermogenes Concepcion, Jr.||April 07, 1920||April 18, 1975 – April 16, 1986||Calixto Zaldivar||Querube Makalintal||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Serafin R. Cuevas||June 25, 1928||June 1, 1984 – April 16, 1986||Enrique Fernando||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Venicio T. Escolin||February 13, 1921||November 20, 1981 - April 15, 1986||Enrique Fernando||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Claudio Teehankee, Sr.||April 18, 1918||December 17, 1968 – April 1, 1986||Eugenio Angeles||Roberto Concepcion||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Nestor B. Alampay||February 17, 1920||January 24, 1985 - March 17, 1986||Enrique Fernando||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Buenaventura S. De La Fuente||July 14, 1922||February 28, 1984 - March 06, 1986||Enrique Fernando||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Lorenzo Relova||January 20, 1916||May 14, 1982 - January 19, 1986||Enrique Fernando||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Ramón Aquino||August 31, 1917||October 29, 1973 – November 19, 1985||Newly created seat||Querube Makalintal||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Felix Makasiar||November 20, 1915||August 2, 1970 – July 25, 1985||Conrado V. Sanchez||Roberto Concepcion||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Juvenal K. Guerrero||November 04, 1916||May 11, 1977 – November 4, 1984||Fred Ruiz Castro||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Pacifico P. De Castro||July 16, 1915||January 17, 1979 - May 31, 1984||Fred Ruiz Castro||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Conrado M. Vasquez||September 13, 1913||May 14, 1982 - September 30, 1983||Enrique Fernando||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Antonio P. Barredo||October 01, 1912||December 17, 1968 - October 4, 1982||Roberto Concepcion||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Vicente G. Ericta||February 03, 1915||November 20, 1981 - May 11, 1982||Enrique Fernando||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Ramon C. Fernandez||February 16, 1916||May 27, 1977 - May 11, 1982||Fred Ruiz Castro||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Felix Q. Antonio||May 18, 1911||June 1972 - May 18, 1980||Roberto Concepcion||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Guillermo S. Santos||January 23, 1915||May 27, 1977 - January 23, 1980||Fred Ruiz Castro||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Enrique Fernando||July 25, 1915||June 30, 1967 – July 1, 1979||Roberto Concepcion||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Cecilia Muñoz-Palma||November 22, 1913||October 29, 1973 – November 22, 1978||Newly created seat||Querube Makalintal||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Ruperto G. Martin||March 27, 1913||April 18, 1975 – January 10, 1978||Estanislao A. Fernandez||Querube Makalintal||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Salvador Esguerra||June 19, 1906||June 1972 - June 19, 1976||Roberto Concepcion||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Fred Ruiz Castro||September 2, 1914||May 29, 1966 – January 5, 1976||César Bengzon||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Roberto Regala||June 7, 1897||May 23, 1962 - December 22, 1975||César Bengzon||Diosdado Macapagal|
|Estanislao A. Fernandez||March 28, 1910||October 19, 1973 - March 28, 1975||Querube Makalintal||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Calixto Zaldivar||September 13, 1904||September 12, 1964 - September 13, 1974||César Bengzon||Diosdado Macapagal|
|Querube Makalintal||December 22, 1910||May 23, 1962 – October 21, 1973||César Bengzon||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Jose B. L. Reyes||August 19, 1902||June 30, 1954 - August 19, 1972||Ricardo Parás||Ramon Magsaysay|
|Julio Villamor||April 12, 1902||January 24, 1970 - April 12, 1972||Roberto Concepcion||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Arsenio Dizon||October 05, 1901||July 26, 1960 - October 5, 1971||Ricardo Parás||Carlos P. García|
|Conrado V. Sanchez||February 19, 1900||May 29, 1966 - February 19, 1970||César Bengzon||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Francisco Capistrano||October 6, 1899||September 16, 1968 - October 6, 1969||Roberto Concepcion||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Eugenio Angeles||November 2, 1868||June 30, 1967 - November 2, 1968||Roberto Concepcion||Ferdinand Marcos|
|Jose P. Bengzon||May 5, 1898||September 12, 1964 - May 05, 1968||César Bengzon||Diosdado Macapagal|
|Jesus G. Barrera||December 18, 1896||June 5, 1959 - December 18, 1966||Ricardo Parás||Carlos P. García|
|Roberto Concepcion||June 7, 1903||February 9, 1954 – June 17, 1966||Ricardo Parás||Ramon Magsaysay|
|Jose Ma. Paredes||August 15, 1895||August 18, 1960 - August 15, 1965||Ricardo Parás||Carlos P. García|
|Sabino B. Padilla||August 21, 1894||June 25, 1946 - August 21, 1964||Manuel V. Moran||Manuel Roxas|
|Alejo Labrador||July 17, 1894||April 22, 1952 - July 17, 1964||Ricardo Parás||Elpidio Quirino|
|Felipe Natividad||September 20, 1891||April 8, 1962 - September 20, 1962||César Bengzon||Diosdado Macapagal|
|Dionisio De Leon||April 08, 1892||April 28, 1961 - April 8, 1962||César Bengzon||Carlos P. García|
|César Bengzon||May 29, 1896||September 15, 1945 - April 28, 1961||Manuel V. Moran||José P. Laurel
|Jose Gutierrez David||January 29, 1891||August 28, 1959 - January 29, 1961||Ricardo Parás||Carlos P. García|
|Marcelino R. Montemayor||July 27, 1890||August 21, 1948 - July 27, 1960||Manuel V. Moran||Elpidio Quirino|
|Pastor M. Endencia||July 26, 1890||December 20, 1955 - July 26, 1960||Ricardo Parás||Ramon Magsaysay|
|Alejandro A. Reyes||June 4, 1899||August 6, 1948 - June 3, 1959||Manuel V. Moran||Elpidio Quirino|
|Alfonso Felix||September 17, 1888||July 24, 1956 - September 17, 1958||Ricardo Parás||Ramon Magsaysay|
|Fernando Jugo||May 14, 1891||October 20, 1950 - June 3, 1956||Manuel V. Moran||Elpidio Quirino|
|Felix Angelo Bautista||May 20, 1896||October 20, 1950 - May 20, 1956||Manuel V. Moran||Elpidio Quirino|
|Guillermo Pablo||June 25, 1886||June 6, 1945 - June 4, 1955||José Yulo||José P. Laurel
|Ramon Diokno||March 28, 1886||February 10, 1954 - April 21, 1954||Ricardo Parás||Ramon Magsaysay|
|Pedro Tuazon||September 15, 1884||June 25, 1946 - January 4, 1954||Manuel V. Moran||Manuel Roxas|
|Felicisimo R. Feria||August 6, 1883||June 6, 1945 - August 6, 1953||José Yulo||José P. Laurel
|Ricardo Parás||February 17, 1891||December 28, 1941 - April 1, 1951||José Abad Santos||Manuel L. Quezon|
|Roman Ozaeta||February 28, 1891||June 24, 1941 - October 16, 1950||Ramón Avanceña||Manuel L. Quezon|
|Luis P. Torres||April 08, 1880||August 20, 1949 - April 1, 1950||Manuel V. Moran||Elpidio Quirino|
|Manuel C. Briones||January 01, 1894||September 15, 1945 - May 24, 1949||Manuel V. Moran||José P. Laurel
|Gregorio Perfecto||November 28, 1891||June 6, 1945 - August 17, 1949||José Yulo||José P. Laurel
|Emilio Y. Hilado||November 01, 1891||June 6, 1945 - May 31, 1948||José Yulo||José P. Laurel
|Jose Hontiveros||March 19, 1889||June 25, 1946 - October 16, 1947||Manuel V. Moran||Manuel Roxas|
|Delfin Jaranilla||December 24, 1883||June 6, 1945 - June 6, 1946||José Yulo||José P. Laurel
|Jose A. Espiritu||April 10, 1886||June 6, 1945 - August 15, 1945||José Yulo||José P. Laurel
|Antonio Horrilleno||February 13, 1878||1943 - 1945||José Yulo||Manuel L. Quezon
José P. Laurel
|Manuel V. Moran||October 27, 1893||December 12, 1938 – July 9, 1945||Ramón Avanceña||José P. Laurel
|Mariano H. De Joya||September 8, 1887||June 6, 1945 - June 25, 1945||José Yulo||José P. Laurel
|Jose Lopez Vito||May 12, 1872||May 11, 1942 - No Record||José Yulo||Manuel L. Quezon|
|Jose Generoso||May 11, 1942 - No Record||José Yulo||Manuel L. Quezon|
|Jorge C. Bocobo||October 19, 1886||February 5, 1942 - 1944||José Abad Santos||Manuel L. Quezon|
|José Yulo||September 24, 1894||February 5, 1942 - May 7, 1942||José Abad Santos||Manuel L. Quezon|
|José P. Laurel||March 9, 1891||February 29, 1936 – February 5, 1942||Ramón Avanceña||Manuel L. Quezon|
|José Abad Santos||February 19, 1886||June 18, 1936 – December 23, 1941||Norberto Romualdez||Ramón Avanceña||Manuel L. Quezon|
|Anacleto Diaz||November 20, 1878||November 20, 1933 - December 19, 1941||Ramón Avanceña||No Philippine President|
|Carlos A. Imperial||November 04, 1880||June 22, 1932 - May 20, 1941||Ramón Avanceña||No Philippine President|
|Antonio Villareal||January 17, 1880||June 16, 1925 - June 5, 1940||Ramón Avanceña||No Philippine President|
|Pedro Concepcion||October 31, 1936 - January 1, 1940||Ramón Avanceña||Manuel L. Quezon|
|Claro M. Recto||February 08, 1890||July 03, 1935 - November 1, 1936||Ramón Avanceña||No Philippine President|
|James C. Vickers||August 05, 1877||June 1, 1932 - February 1, 1936||Ramón Avanceña||No Philippine President|
|George C. Butte||May 09, 1877||July 1, 1932 - February 1, 1936||Ramón Avanceña||No Philippine President|
|John A. Hull||August 7, 1874||June 1, 1932 - February 1, 1936||Ramón Avanceña||No Philippine President|
|George A. Malcolm||November 5, 1881||July 9, 1917 - February 1, 1936||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Leonard S. Goddard||January 29, 1871||January 9, 1934 - January 29, 1936||Ramón Avanceña||No Philippine President|
|Thomas A. Street||March 14, 1872||June 13, 1917 - June 1, 1935||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|James A. Ostrand||January 20, 1871||September 27, 1921 - June 30, 1933||Victorino Mapa||No Philippine President|
|Ignacio Villamor||February 1, 1863||May 19, 1920 - May 23, 1933||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Elias Finley Johnson||June 24, 1861||October 3, 1903 - April 1, 1933||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Norberto Romualdez||June 6, 1875||November 1, 1921 - April 1, 1932||Manuel Araullo||Manuel Araullo||No Philippine President|
|Charles A. Johns||June 25, 1857||October 7, 1921 - January 11, 1932||Victorino Mapa||No Philippine President|
|Ramón Avanceña||April 13, 1872||October 31, 1917 - March 31, 1925||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Manuel Araullo||January 1, 1853||December 16, 1913 - October 31, 1921||Victorino Mapa||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Adam Clarke Carson||January 14, 1869||November 16, 1904 - November 30, 1920||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Percy M. Moir||November 25, 1918 - November 20, 1920||Manuel Araullo||No Philippine President|
|Florentino Torres||October 16, 1844||June 17, 1901 - April 20, 1920||Newly created seat||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Frederich Charles Fisher||November 17, 1917 - November 16, 1918||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Grant T. Trent||February 28, 1910 - April 23, 1917||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Sherman Moreland||February 1, 1909 - April 23, 1917||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Victorino Mapa||February 25, 1855||June 17, 1901 - October 31, 1913||Newly created seat||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Charles Burke Elliott||June 03, 1909 - February 13, 1910||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|James F. Tracy||July 1, 1905 - July 2, 1909||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Joseph F. Cooper||March 30, 1854||June 17, 1901 - October 17, 1904||Newly created seat||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|John T. Mcdonough||July 12, 1843||February 18, 1903 - May 1, 1904||James Francis Smith||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Charles A. Willard||May 21, 1857||June 17, 1901 - April 24, 1904||Newly created seat||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|James Francis Smith||January 28, 1859||June 17, 1901 - February 17, 1903||Newly created seat||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
|Fletcher Ladd||December 21, 1862||June 17, 1901 - July 13, 1903||Newly created seat||Cayetano Arellano||No Philippine President|
Pre-Hispanic and Hispanic periods
In the years prior to the official establishment of the Supreme Court, institutions exercising judicial power were already in existence. Before the Spaniards came, judicial authority “in its primitive form” was in the hands of barangay chiefs. During the early years of the Spanish government, these powers were vested upon Miguel López de Legazpi, the first governor-general of the Philippines. He administered civil and criminal justice under the Royal Order of August 14, 1569.
The present Supreme Court was preceded by the Real Audiencia, a collegial body established on May 5, 1583 and composed, of a president, four oidores (justices), and a fiscal, among others. It was the highest tribunal in the Philippines, below only the Council of the Indies of Spain. However, this body also exercised administrative functions, not just judicial functions.
The Audiencia’s functions and structure underwent substantial modifications in 1815 when its president was replaced by a chief justice and the number of justices was increased. It then came to be known as the Audiencia Territorial de Manila with two branches, civil and criminal, later renamed sala de lo civil and sala de lo criminal. The Audiencia was converted to a purely judicial body by a Royal Decree issued on July 4, 1861, but its decisions were appealable to the Supreme Court of Spain sitting in Madrid.
On February 26, 1886, a territorial Audiencia was organized in Cebu, followed by an Audiencia for criminal cases in Vigan. However, the pre-eminence of the Supreme Court as the sole interpreter of the law was unknown during the Spanish regime.
The Supreme Court of the Philippines was officially established on June 11, 1901 through the passage of Act No. 136, otherwise known as the Judiciary Law of the Second Philippine Commission. By virtue of that law, judicial power in the Philippine Islands was vested in the Supreme Court, Courts of First Instance and Justice of the Peace courts. Other courts were subsequently established.
The judicial structure introduced by Act No. 136 was reaffirmed by the US Congress with the passage of the Philippine Bill of 1902. The Administrative Code of 1917 ordained the Supreme Court as the highest tribunal of the Philippines with nine members: a chief justice and eight associate justices. Its decisions could be further appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Commonwealth and independence
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2012)|
From 1901 to 1935, although a Filipino was always appointed chief justice, the majority of the members of the Supreme Court were Americans. Complete Filipinization was achieved only with the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935. Claro M. Recto and Jose P. Laurel were among the first appointees to replace the American justices. With the ratification of the 1935 Constitution in a plebiscite held on May 14, 1935, the membership in the Supreme Court increased to 11: a chief justice and ten associate justices, who sat en banc or in two divisions of five members each.
Article V of the Treaty of Manila (1946) abolished the U.S. Supreme Court's appellate authority over the Supreme Court of the Philippines, but provided that Philippine appeals pending before the U.S. Supreme Court would be allowed to run to completion.
Under the 1973 Constitution, the membership of the Supreme Court was increased to 15. The justices sat en banc or in divisions. The 1973 Constitution also vested in the Supreme Court administrative supervision over all lower courts which heretofore was under the Department of Justice.
After the overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, President Corazon C. Aquino, using her emergency powers, promulgated a transitory charter known as the “Freedom Constitution” which did not affect the composition and powers of the Supreme Court. The Freedom Charter was replaced by the 1987 Constitution which is the fundamental charter in force in the Philippines at present. Section 1 Article VIII of the Constitution vests the judicial power “in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.”
Writ of Amparo
The Supreme Court approved the Writ of Amparo on September 25, 2007. The writ of amparo (Spanish for protection) strips the military of the defense of simple denial. Under the writ, families of victims have the right to access information on their cases—a constitutional right called the "habeas data" common in several Latin American countries. The rule is enforced retroactively. Chief Justice Puno stated that "If you have this right, it would be very, very difficult for State agents, State authorities to be able to escape from their culpability."
The Resolution and the Rule on the Writ of Amparo gave legal birth to Puno's brainchild. No filing or legal fees is required for Amparo which takes effect on October 24. Puno also stated that the court will soon issue rules on the writ of Habeas Data and the implementing guidelines for Habeas Corpus. The petition for the writ of amparo may be filed "on any day and at any time" with the Regional Trial Court, or with the Sandiganbayan, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. The interim reliefs under amparo are: temporary protection order (TPO), inspection order (IO), production order (PO), and witness protection order (WPO, RA 6981).
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has criticized the Writ of Amparo and Habeas Data for being insufficient, saying further action must be taken, including enacting laws for protection against torture, enforced disappearance, and laws to provide legal remedies to victims. AHRC said the writ failed to protect non-witnesses, even if they too face threats.
On August 30, 2007, Puno vowed to institute the writ of habeas data as a new legal remedy to the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Puno explained that the writ of amparo denies to authorities defense of simple denial, and habeas data can find out what information is held by the officer, rectify or even the destroy erroneous data gathered.
On January 22, 2008, the Supreme Court En Banc approved the rules for the writ of Habeas Data ("to protect a person’s right to privacy and allow a person to control any information concerning them"), effective on February 2, the Philippines’ Constitution Day.
Since the courts' creation, English had been used in court proceedings. But for the first time in Philippine judicial history, or on August 22, 2007, three Malolos City regional trial courts in Bulacan will use Filipino, to promote the national language. Twelve stenographers from Branches 6, 80 and 81, as model courts, had undergone training at Marcelo H. del Pilar College of Law of Bulacan State University College of Law following a directive from the Supreme Court of the Philippines. De la Rama said it was the dream of Chief Justice Reynato Puno to implement the program in other areas such as Laguna, Cavite, Quezon, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Rizal and Metro Manila.
On January 25, 2005, and on December 10, 2006, Philippines Social Weather Stations released the results of its two surveys on corruption in the judiciary; it published that: a) like 1995, 1/4 of lawyers said many/very many judges are corrupt. But (49%) stated that a judges received bribes, just 8% of lawyers admitted they reported the bribery, because they could not prove it. [Tables 8-9]; judges, however, said, just 7% call many/very many judges as corrupt[Tables 10-11];b) "Judges see some corruption; proportions who said - many/very many corrupt judges or justices: 17% in reference to RTC judges, 14% to MTC judges, 12% to Court of Appeals justices, 4% i to Shari'a Court judges, 4% to Sandiganbayan justices and 2% in reference to Supreme Court justices [Table 15].
The September 14, 2008, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) survey, ranked the Philippines 6th (6.10) among corrupt Asian judicial systems. PERC stated that "despite India and the Philippines being democracies, expatriates did not look favourably on their judicial systems because of corruption." PERC reported Hong Kong and Singapore have the best judicial systems in Asia, with Indonesia and Vietnam the worst: Hong Kong's judicial system scored 1.45 on the scale (zero representing the best performance and 10 the worst); Singapore with a grade of 1.92, followed by Japan (3.50), South Korea (4.62), Taiwan (4.93), the Philippines (6.10), Malaysia (6.47), India (6.50), Thailand (7.00), China (7.25), Vietnam's (8.10) and Indonesia (8.26).
In the September 23, 2008, Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (global survey ranking countries in terms of perceived corruption), the Philippines dropped to 141st, down 10 places from 2007, among 180 countries surveyed. It scored a 2.3 in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), lower than 2007's 2.5, on a scale where 10 is the highest possible grade. Vincent Lazatin, TAN executive director, said: “We are compared to our nearest neighbors Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, with Vietnam seen as eventually overtaking us in a few years. The difference is that (in other countries) when business sets aside money to grease the wheels, they know that they will get what they paid for. In the Philippines, there is no certainty."
“Bantay Korte Suprema”
"Watch the Supreme Court" coalition was launched at the Training Center, Ground Floor, Supreme Court Centennial Bldg on November 17, 2008, "to ensure the fair and honest selection of the 7 Associate Justices of the Supreme Court on 2009." Members of “Bantay Korte Suprema” include retired Philippine presidents, retired Supreme Court justices, legislators, legal practitioners, the academe, the business community and the media. former Senate President Jovito Salonga, UP Law Dean Marvic Leonen, Senate Majority Leader and Judicial and Bar Council member Kiko Pangilinan, the Philippine Bar Association, Artemio Panganiban, and Rodolfo Urbiztondo, of the 48,000-strong Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), and the chambers of commerce, witnessed the landmark event. BKS will neither select nor endorse a candidate, “but if it receive information that makes a candidate incompetent, it will divulge this to the public and inform the JBC." At the BKS launching, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the public monitoring of the selection of justices to the SC was signed.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Appointments Watch (SCAW) coalition of law groups and civil society to monitor the appointment of persons to judicial positions was also re-launched. The SCAW consortium, composed of the Alternative Law Groups, Libertas, Philippine Association of law Schools and the Transparency and Accountability Network, together with the online news magazine Newsbreak, reactivated itself for the JBC selection process of candidates.
Philippine court system
- Court of Appeals
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- Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
- Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
- Political history of the Philippines
- Constitution of the Philippines
- Judicial Executive Legislative Advisory and Consultative Council (JELAC)
- Articles of Impeachment against Chief Justice Renato Corona
Supreme Court logo
Lady Justice statue in the Old SC building
Philippine Judicial Academy  Office, Centennial Building, Supreme Court of the Philippines
SC Centennial Building (corner of Padre Faura St. and Taft Avenue)
Office of the Administrative Services 
- Deinla, Imelda (April 2014). "Public Support and Judicial Empowerment of the Philippine Supreme Court". Contemporary Southeast Asia 36 (1): 128–158.
- See Section 6, Article VIII, Constitution
- See Section 7(1), Article VIII, Constitution
- See Section 7(3), Article VIII, Constitution
- See Section 9, Article VIII, Constitution
- Changed to 65 during 1973-1978, but since restored to 70.
- manilastandardtoday.com, Justice Austria-Martinez wants early retirement
- abs-cbnnews.com, Exclusive: SC Justice Alicia Martinez to retire early
- opinion.inquirer.net, With Due Respect - A libertarian decision; a decent jurist
- See 5(4) & (5), Article VIII, Constitution
- See 
- See 1, Article VIII, Constitution
- See 1, Article VIII, Constitution
- See J. Bernas, The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: A Commentary (1996 ed.), at 831
- See Section 6, Rule 45, 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure
- See Sections 1, 2, & 3, Rule 65, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
- See, e.g., Toh v. CA, G.R. No. 140274, November 15, 2000.
- Inquirer.net, SC approves use of writ of amparo
- Inquiret.net, Military can’t shrug off killings--Chief Justice
- ABS-CBN Interactive, SC ready with writ of amparo by Sept - Puno
- Supremecourt.gov.ph, A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC, THE RULE ON THE WRIT OF AMPARO
- S.C. Resolution, A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC, THE RULE ON THE WRIT OF AMPARO
- Supremecourt.gov.ph, SC Approves Rule on Writ of Amparo
- GMA NEWS.TV, SC approves rule on writ of amparo vs extralegal killings
- GMA NEWS.TV, Writ of amparo not enough – Hong Kong rights group
- Inquirer.net, Habeas data: SC’s new remedy vs killings, disappearances
- newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews, Supreme Court okays rules of ‘habeas data’
- Inquirer.net, 3 Bulacan courts to use Filipino in judicial proceedings
- www.sws.org.ph, New Diagnostic Study Sets Guideposts for Systematic Development of the Judiciary
- www.sws.org.ph, New SWS Study of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession Sees Some Improvements, But Also Recurring Problems
- afp.google.com/article, Hong Kong has best judicial system in Asia: business survey
- www.abs-cbnnews.com, Hong Kong has best judicial system in Asia: business survey
- bworldonline.com, RP drops further in corruption perceptions survey
- transparency.org, Transparency International 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index
- transparency.org, Persistently high corruption in low-income countries amounts to an “ongoing humanitarian disaster”
- gmanews.tv, RP still as corrupt as ever - Transparency International
- newsinfo.inquirer.net, SC watchdog launched
- supremecourt.gov.ph, LAUNCHING OF BANTAY KORTE SUPREMA
- gmanews.tv/story, Group launches ‘Bantay Korte Suprema’ to guard selection of new SC justices
- balita.ph, Bantay Korte Suprema launched
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Supreme Court of the Philippines.|
- Philippines: Gov.Ph: About the Philippines – Justice category
- The Supreme Court of the Philippines – Official website