Today is Monday, July 23, 2018

Honoring A Colleague Justice Salvador J. Valdez, Jr.

by: J. Jose C. Reyes, Jr.

I have always looked forward to our summer session in Baguio City. The cool weather in Baguio during hot summer days is really a treat. Away from the bustling traffic, our Baguio cottages are conducive to work even though it's close by the busy Shoe Mart (SM) Mall.

My recent trip there from April 16-19, 2007 served another purpose. Although it was not a happy occasion, I felt privileged to be a part of the necrological service given last April 17, Tuesday at the Hall of Justice, to a good friend and colleague, Justice Salvador J. Valdez, Jr. Justice Valdez died last April 13, 2007 of a lingering lung ailment called emphysema. He was 71 years old. He retired in October 2005.

Associate Justice Andres B. Reyes, Jr., being the representative of the Court of Appeals and of our Presiding Justice Ruben T. Reyes stood first to honor our colleague. He gave a brief account of the professional as well as personal successes of Justice Valdez, including his happy family life. He was followed by another colleague and his classmate in UP College of Law former Presiding Justice Romeo A. Brawner, now COMELEC Commissioner, who shared the parallelism of their career paths. Both Justices were recipients of Judicial Excellence Award; both were trial court judges before they were promoted to the Court of Appeals; both were professors of law.

Other colleagues and friends followed, notably retired Justice Teodoro Regino, the President of the Association of Retired Court of Appeals Justices of the Philippines, Congressman Mauricio G. Domogan and City Prosecutor Benedicto R. Carantes. Also present were employees of the Court of Appeals in Baguio City led by Roberto Robas. Finally, Atty. Maria Hazel Valdez-Acantilado, the daughter of Justice Valdez, gave an emotional response confirming the integrity, honesty and competence of her father. Although an accomplished lawyer, her daughter said that her father always gave priority to his family. He even sacrificed a scheduled interview by the Judicial Bar Council for promotion to the Supreme Court to be with his grandchild while undergoing an operation.

We salute our colleague and we will pray to God that He will reward him in heaven for his good works while he lived an honorable life here on earth.

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