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PJ Reyes Appointed to the High Court

The Supreme Court’s vacant seat left by Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr. has finally been filled up. And Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Ruben T. Reyes, a five-time nominee to the SC, has finally bagged it this time.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has chosen him among other equally well-qualified pool of nominees to join the roll of Supreme Court justices on August 2, 2007. Earlier on, she named Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong to fill up the slot but this was withdrawn over questions of his being a natural born Filipino.

Born in Hagonoy, Bulacan, Reyes grew up without a father figure as his father died when he was barely two years old. Coming from a poor family, he realized that he had to move up and cross the great divide from anonymity to fame. He then worked his way through law school and graduated in 1962 from Manuel Luis Quezon University. After a 10-year private practice, he joined the government when he became an Assistant City Fiscal of Manila. He later on became a Regional Trial Court Judge in Bataan and then, in Manila. In 1994, Reyes was promoted to the Court of Appeals, eventually becoming its Presiding Justice in 2005.

Reyes was the editor of the PJA Newsletter and the Bench Bulletin and was the Chairman-editor of the CA Journal. Active in scholarly pursuits, he was the President of the Philippine Association of Law Professors and was a Bar Examiner and a Bar Reviewer, MCLE and PHILJA Lecturer, a UP Law Center Resource Person, and a Member of the SC Committee on Legal Education and Bar Matters. He has been a study grantee of several courses, including those sponsored by the Harvard Law School and by the Hague Forum.

Awards under his belt include the Top Fiscal Awardee for Best Resolution and Disposition of Cases, Outstanding RTC Manila Judge, CUP Outstanding Justice of the CA, Bulacan Dangal ng Lipi, YMCA and ORAS Presidential awards, and two SC awards on judicial reforms.

After his appointment, the newly-appointed SC Associate Justice quipped, "I will remain independent. I will uphold the integrity of the court."

Justice Ruben T. Reyes’ term in the High Court will be until January 3, 2009.

Until such time the President appoints a regular Presiding Justice, Justice Conrado M. Vasquez, Jr., being the most senior magistrate, will be the Court’s Acting Presiding Justice.




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