By Atty. Ma. Josefina G. San Juan-Torres
Jumpstarted by the long Easter respite, the “ the heat is on “ ( literally
speaking ) for the Court of Appeals when all roads led to City of Pines for the annual Baguio Summer
Session which officially commenced from March 30, 2008 and ended on May 10, 2008. The summer
session is a much-awaited event, which the Court of Appeals Justices and their personnel look forward
to in order to get away from the sweltering, or better still, scorching heat (no thanks to global
warming) of la Manila.
Leading the pack was the First Division composed of Presiding Justice Conrado M.
Vasquez, Jr. , Justice Lucas P. Bersamin (Senior Member), and Justice Pampio A. Abarintos ( Junior
The entire Court was divided into six (6) groups with each group composed of three
(3) Divisions from the Manila station and one (1) division from either Cebu or Cagayan station.
Welcoming each group was the ever affable Mr. Roberto Robas, who by the way, retired upon the end
of the summer session after forty-five (45) years of dedicated service to the Judiciary, inching his way
up from his humble beginnings as a casual employee and culminating his career as Officer in Charge
of the CA Baguio Property Management Section.
It was not all play and no work for the magistrates though. It was business as usual
with Justices penning decisions while basking on the pleasant sunlight and inhaling the crisp woodsy
scent of evergreens. They were after all in a semi-hibernation mode while in the highlands.
Providing a boon to the already deplorable condition of the CA Building in Baguio,
the Court of Appeals opened its doors to a newly refurbished Hearing Room with its new walnut colored
wall panels, soft lighting fixtures and executive seats. The first hearing ever held in the (new) CA
Baguio Hearing Room involved the Burgos case assigned to the Sixth Division chaired by Madame
Justice Remedios Salazar Fernando.
On a lighter side, the CA Baguio housing compound, somber looking as it may for
most part of the year, with its cottages imposingly perched on a corner slope, is not spared from tall
tales and urban legends of middle earth occupants sharing the summer session limelight. But that’s