Supreme Court of the Philippines

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The Supreme Court of the Philippines (Filipino: Kataas-taasang Hukuman ng Pilipinas) is the country's highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice. Pursuant to the Constitution, the Supreme Court has "administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof".[1]

The Supreme Court complex 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 Intramuros.

Constitutional role

Composition

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; (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.[2] An additional constitutional requirement, though less precise in nature, is that a Justice “must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence.”[3] 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.[4]

Beginning with the 1935 Constitution, Supreme Court Justices are obliged to retire upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.[5] Just a few 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.

Functions

See also:


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.[6] 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.[7]

The more prominent role of the Court lies 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 provision states in part that:
Judicial power includes the duty of 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.[8] 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.

Cases

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 division with 5 members each. 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”.[9] 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.

Appellate review

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".[10] 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.

Original jurisdiction

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 habeas 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".[11]

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"[12]

History

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Supreme Court Building, Manila

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 regime, 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 Royal 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 Consejo de Indias 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.

Unlike the decisions rendered by the Supreme Court during the period of American rule, the decisions of the Royal Audiencia are

American period

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 with nine members: a chief justice and eight associate justices.

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.

An independent Philippines

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.”

2007 fire

On January 16, 2007 (3:52 p.m. to 4:40 p.m.), the court logo was halved by a 2nd alarm fire at the new building along Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila. It was caused by an electrical malfunction and short circuit. A spark ignited a flame that burned the ceiling, walls and curtains of the 2nd floor session hall. Chief Justice Reynato Puno stated that: "I was in a meeting in the en banc conference room when I saw smoke coming out from the flooring. Immediately we went out of the room and that’s when the alarm went off." Midas Marquez of the court information office confirmed: "This is the first time that the high court's session hall had caught fire. A few years back, the Department of Justice (DoJ) had also caught fire, and was prevented from spreading to the Supreme Court".[13] [14]

Extrajudicial Killings Summit

The 22nd PUNO Supreme Court is set to hold a National Consultative Summit on extrajudicial killings on July 16 and 17, 2007 at the Manila Hotel. Invited representatives from the three branches of the government will participate (including the AFP, the PNP, CHR, media, academe, civil society and other stakeholders). Puno will give the keynote speech and closing remarks. Puno searches for major solutions to solve forced disappearances. During the first day of the summit, the speakers will present their respective papers comprising significant inputs from their respective sectors, while on the second day, the participants will break out into 12 groups (chaired by a Justice) and take part in a workshop. Local and international observers (the diplomatic corps and representatives from various international organizations) will be accredited. Puno informed that "the summit highlight will be a plenary session where each of the 12 groups shall report to the body their recommended resolutions. The reports and proposals will be synthesized and then transmitted to the concerned government agencies for appropriate action". On the other hand, the earlier slated Malacañang-sponsored Mindanao Peace and Security Summit (July 8-10, 2007 at Cagayan de Oro City), would focus on how to make the anti-terror law, or the Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007, more acceptable to the public. It will probably steal the thunder from Puno's own summit on extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances.[15][16]

On July 16, 2007, Justices, activists, militant leaders, police officials, politicians and prelates attended the Supreme Court's two-day summit at the Manila Hotel in Manila City to map out ways to put an end to the string of extrajudicial killings in the country. Bayan was set to launch their "silent protest", but expressed support for the high court's initiative. Director Geary Barias, chief of the police's anti-killings Task Force Usig, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Yñiguez, reelected party-list Representatives Satur Ocampo (Bayan Muna) and Crispin Beltran (Anakpawis) graced the affair. SC Chief Justice Reynato Puno said that the "National Consultative Summit on Extrajudicial Killings and Forced Disappearances: Searching for Solutions," would help stop the murders. Delegates were given 12 to 15 minutes each to share their insights and knowledge about the matter. Yniguez scored the government for failing to actively pursue investigations on the hundreds of killings, and the Catholic Church was alarmed that victims have been denied of their "fundamental right" to live. Based on Yniguez-church's count, the number of victims of extrajudicial killings reached 778, while survivors of "political assassinations," was pegged at 370. He also noted 203 "massacre" victims, 186 people who involuntarily disappeared, 502 tortured, and others who were illegally arrested. Yniguez similarly criticized the government's alleged insistence to implement its Oplan Bantay Laya I and II, the military's counter-insurgency operation-plans which militants have said consider legal people's organizations as targets. Meanwhile, Bayan urged the Supreme Court to "check serious threats to civil liberties and basic freedoms" including the anti-terror law or the Human Security Act of 2007, which took effect on July 15 despite protests from leftist groups. Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. will join Bayan and other leftist groups as petitioners in their formal pleading before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the law. Human rights lawyer Atty. Edre Olalia of the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) will serve as lead counsel. Bayan chair Carol Araullo said the respondents will include members of the Anti-Terrorism Council headed by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Raul Gonzalez. Earlier, CBCP president Angel Lagdameo pointed out at least 5 provisions of the law that may threaten civil liberties: Sec. 19 allows detentions of mere suspects for more than three days in the event of an actual or terrorist attack, while Section 26 allows house arrest despite the posting of bail, and prohibits the right to travel and to communicate with others; Sec. 39 allows seizure of assets while Sec. 7 allows surveillance or wiretapping of suspects; Sec. 26 allows the investigation of bank deposits and other assets.[17]

Puno SC summit called for truce, talks with insurgents, as the two-day summit ended: "Let us rather engage in the conspiracy of hope…and hope for peace." Puno said he would forward the summit's recommendation to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Senate and House of Representatives. "In the clash of arms, the laws are silent. We need to reduce violence, create conditions conducive to less violence based on the rule of law," Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales said in the report. One group recommended that Republic Act 9372 or the Human Security Act be declared unconstitutional. All the groups agreed that insurgency is not only a military but also a political problem and said a ceasefire would be a sign of the government’s goodwill and sincerity in forging genuine peace agreements with all rebel groups. They also recommended the use of the third-party approach to peace negotiations. Among the other recommendations of the summit are: -- for the Supreme Court to reexamine the case of Umil v. Ramos, which said rebellion and related crimes are continuing offenses, thus allowing the warrantless arrest of suspects; to carefully study the possibility of creating a new offense for the killings and assaults on journalists, judges and activities, akin to the law penalizing violence against woman and children; the establishment of sanctuaries where victims and witnesses can take refuge; for the President to certify and the Senate to ratify the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court, and Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention, which addresses the issue of making civilian populations or individual civilians the object of attacks; the enactment of a law addressing and accurately defining extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances; a study on the use of the writ of Amparo for greater protection of Constitutional rights, and a more creative and resourceful application of the writ of habeas corpus; suspending the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty in cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance; studying whether the government can continue invoking its immunity from suspension in cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances; allowing petitioners for the writ of habeas corpus to seek court orders to search the premises of police and military camps and stations in the presence of a representative from the Commission on Human Rights; requiring the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to take DNA samples of unidentified cadavers for preservation in the Philippine National Police laboratory; the adoption of international standards of command responsibility; the enhancement of moral, ethical and constitutional values that put a premium on tolerance and the rule of law.

The CPP, however said that the abuses will continue “so long as the mastermind remains in power." “Extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances will continue as long as the mastermind remains in power and enforces a deliberate state terrorist policy that sets the stage for gross violations of human rights." CPP spokesman Gregorio “Ka Roger" Rosal said that the New People’s Army (NPA) and people’s courts are conducting their own investigations and are intensifying efforts to investigate and resolve particular cases of extra-judicial killings and abductions. Rosal cited the case of Capt. Patrick Baesa, an intelligence officer under the notorious 901st Infantry Battalion, who was meted out revolutionary punishment last November 2006. Baesa, who was based in Irosin, Albay, was responsible for organizing the death squads which carried out the killings of Max Frivaldo, Ding Uy, Rei Mon Guran and Barangay Chairman Neal Futalan.“But ultimately it is the Arroyo regime and its top security and military officials who should be punished for these heinous crimes," he said. Further, former vice president Teofisto Guingona and BAYAN petitioned the Court to declare the Human Security Act (HSA) unconstitutional. The 89-page petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for temporary restraining order against the implementation of the anti-terror law. Other petitioners were Gabriela, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Movement of Concerned Citizens for Civil Liberties, state workers' group COURAGE, Kadamay, Solidarity of Cavite Workers, League of Filipino Students, HEAD, Anakbayan, Pamalakaya, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Migrante and AGHAM.[18][19][20]

Writ of Amparo

On August 17 2007, Puno said that the writ of amparo (Spanish for protection), would strip the military of the defense of denial (Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption's 9th anniversary celebration at Camp Crame). Under the writ, families of victims will have the right to access information on their cases -- a constitutional right called the "habeas data" common in several Latin America countries. The final version of the rule, which will be made retroactive, will come out by next month. Puno stated that "In other words, if you have this right, it would be very, very difficult for State agents, State authorities to be able to escape from their culpability."[21][22]

On September 15 2007, lawyer Neri Javier Colmenares (National Union of People’s Lawyers) announced that the Supreme Court of the Philippines committee on the revision of rules drafted the writ of amparo rules, which will be promulgated in October. The writ of amparo (Spanish for protection) is a defense to prevent extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. As supplement, recourse to “Habeas Data,” to grant the right of access information on desaparecidos, will also be provided.[23]

Historical promulgation of Writ of Amparo

On September 25 [2007]], Chief Justice Reynato Puno officially announced the Supreme Court of the Philippines' approval or promulgation of the Writ of Amparo: "Today, the Supreme Court promulgated the rule that will place the constitutional right to life, liberty and security above violation and threats of violation. This rule will provide the victims of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances the protection they need and the promise of vindication for their rights. This rule empowers our courts to issue reliefs that may be granted through judicial orders of protection, production, inspection and other relief to safeguard one's life and liberty The writ of amparo shall hold public authorities, those who took their oath to defend the constitution and enforce our laws, to a high standard of official conduct and hold them accountable to our people. The sovereign Filipino people should be assured that if their right to life and liberty is threatened or violated, they will find vindication in our courts of justice." [24]

A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC, THE RULE ON THE WRIT OF AMPARO

The Resolution and the Rule on the Writ of Amparo gave legal birth to Puno's brainchild. [25] [26][27] No filing or legal fees is required for Amparo which takes effect on October 24 in time for the 62nd anniversary of the United Nations. 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).[28]

International criticism

On September 28, 2007, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) criticized the Writ of Amparo and Habeas Data (Philippines) for being insufficient: "Though it responds to practical areas it is still necessary that further action must be taken in addition to this. The legislative bodies, House of Representatives and Senate, should also initiate its own actions promptly and without delay. They must enact laws which ensure protection of rights—laws against torture and enforced disappearance and laws to afford adequate legal remedies to victims." AHRC objected since the writ failed to protect non-witnesses, even if they too face threats or risk to their lives. [29]

Habeas Data

On August 30 2007, Puno (in a speech at Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental) vowed to institute the writ of habeas data (“you should have the idea” or “you should have the data”) 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. Brazil used the writ, followed by Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina and Ecuador.[30]

Filipino language

Bulacan Courts

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. 12 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. [31]

P 10 million bribery controversy

On September 24, 2007, Supreme Court of the Philippines Associate Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago denied charges that she received P10-million (US $ 224,000) bribe money (as published by The Daily Tribune, Malaya newspaper's Amado Macasaet and Newsbreak (magazine), last week). Santiago tersely lamented: “At the outset, let me underscore that these are blatant lies clearly aimed at smearing and maligning my character and person, and the integrity of the Judiciary, which I have been faithfully serving for 34 years now.” Santiago asked Chief Justice Reynato Puno for an investigation. Macasaet’s column alleged that the P 10-million money was put in 1 of 5 gift boxes and left at the court's guard house. Santiago's staff Daisy Cecilia Muñoz Delis (niece of the late Associate Justice Cecilia Munoz-Palma) personally got and opened the package and delivered it to Santiago. Delis was dismissed (but she denied, stating she resigned on March 15), gave Justice Santiago her affidavit and Macasaet's letter.[32] [33] [34]

Newsbreak online published that the payoff dealt with 2 lawsuits which Santiago decided: "HENRY T. GO vs. 5th Div. Sandiganbayan", G.R. No. 172602, SPECIAL THIRD DIVISION , September 3, 2007, [35][36] and the Maysilo estate. Supreme Court of the Philippines Reynato Puno was forced to include this bribery matter for deliberation (in the September 25 en banc session) based on petition of 4 other incumbent lady justices.[37] [38][39] [40] Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago accused another Supreme Court of the Philippines justice of smear campaign against Consuelo Ynares-Santiago (to urge her to inhibit from a multi-billion peso 34-hectare Maysilo-Araneta University land case). Santiago's decision awarded the land to Homer Barque, represented by counsel Felix Carao Jr. [41] The Court will release the indirect contempt indictment versus Malaya publisher Amado Macasaet to substantiate his libelous claims.[42]

A.M. No. 07-09-13-SC

In the promulgated resolution dated September 26, 2007, the high court ruled: "Upon evaluation of the column ‘Business Circuit,’ of Amado Macasaet in the September 18, 19, 20, and 21, 2007 issues of Malaya, it appears that certain statements and innuendoes therein tend, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice within the purview of Section 3(d), Rule 71 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure." Macasaet was ordered "to shed light on his claim against Santiago because the accusations have degraded the high court, and to explain where he obtained his information that Santiago was allegedly offered a P10-million bribe." [43] [44] [45] [46]

On October 1, 2007, Malaya publisher, Amado "Jake" Macasaet filed with the Supreme Court of the Philippines a 28-page reply-explanation to the contempt charges. Macasaet stated that he wrote his column to call for an investigation and to preserve the integrity of the Court: " the investigation on his alleged liabilities is not only unsettling but signals a chilling effect on free speech; Yet, without that call (for an investigation), truth would be not exposed to the scalding light of public inquiry." [47]

Current Justices

Name Position Date of Appointment Date of Birth Date of Retirement Appointing President
Hon. Reynato S. PunoChief JusticeDecember 7, 2006May 17, 1940May 17, 2010Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Hon. Leonardo A. QuisumbingAssociate JusticeJanuary 27, 1998November 6, 1939November 6, 2009Fidel V. Ramos
Hon. Consuelo Ynares-SantiagoAssociate JusticeApril 6, 1999October 5, 1939October 5, 2009Joseph E. Estrada
Hon. Angelina Sandoval-GutierrezAssociate JusticeDecember 22, 2000February 28, 1938February 28, 2008Joseph E. Estrada
Hon. Antonio T. CarpioAssociate JusticeOctober 26, 2001October 26, 1949October 26, 2019Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Hon. Ma. Alicia Austria-MartinezAssociate JusticeApril 12, 2002December 19, 1940December 19, 2010Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Hon. Renato C. CoronaAssociate JusticeApril 9, 2002October 15, 1948October 15, 2018Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Hon. Conchita Carpio-MoralesAssociate JusticeSeptember 3, 2002June 19, 1941June 19, 2011Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Hon. Adolfo S. AzcunaAssociate JusticeOctober 24, 2002February 16, 1939February 16, 2009Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Hon. Dante O. TingaAssociate JusticeJuly 7, 2003May 11, 1939May 11, 2009Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Hon. Minita V. Chico-NazarioAssociate JusticeJuly 14, 2004December 5, 1939December 5, 2009Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Hon. Cancio G. GarciaAssociate JusticeOctober 15, 2004October 20, 1937October 20, 2007Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Hon. Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr.Associate JusticeMarch 31, 2006August 8, 1948August 8, 2018Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Hon. Antonio Eduardo B. NachuraAssociate JusticeJanuary 22, 2007June 13, 1941June 13, 2011Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Hon. Ruben T. ReyesAssociate JusticeJuly 25, 2007January 3, 1939January 3, 2009Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

The Philippine Court System

Enlarge picture
Judicial regions

See also

External links

Notes

1. ^ See Section 6, Article VIII, Constitution
2. ^ See Section 7(1), Article VIII, Constitution
3. ^ See Section 7(3), Article VIII, Constitution
4. ^ See Section 9, Article VIII, Constitution
5. ^ Changed to 65 during 1973-1978, but since restored to 70.
6. ^ See Sections 5(4) & (5), Article VIII, Constitution
7. ^ See Sections 5(5), Article VIII, Constitution
8. ^ See J. Bernas, The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: A Commentary (1996 ed.), at 831
9. ^ See Section 9, Article VIII, Constitution
10. ^ See Section 6, Rule 45, 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure
11. ^ ''See" Sections 1, 2, & 3, Rule 65, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
12. ^ See, e.g., Toh v. CA, G.R. No. 140274, November 15, 2000.
13. ^ Supremecourt.gov.ph, Fire at SC
14. ^ Inquirer.net, SC fire probed but hearings go on -- court official
15. ^ Inquirer.net, SC slates summit on extrajudicial killings
16. ^ GMA NEWS.TV, Chief Justice unfazed by Palace meet
17. ^ GMA NEWS.TV, Justices, activists, prelates map out ways to end killings
18. ^ GMA NEWS.TV, CPP: SC summit can’t stop mastermind of killings
19. ^ Inquiret.net, Let's engage in a conspiracy of Hope
20. ^ ABS-CBN Interactive, More groups ask Supreme Court to junk antiterror law
21. ^ Inquiret.net, Military can’t shrug off killings--Chief Justice
22. ^ ABS-CBN Interactive, SC ready with writ of amparo by Sept - Puno
23. ^ Inquirer.net, Rules on writ of amparo out next month--SC
24. ^ Inquirer.net, SC approves use of writ of amparo
25. ^ Supremecourt.gov.ph, A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC, THE RULE ON THE WRIT OF AMPARO
26. ^ S.C. Resolution, A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC, THE RULE ON THE WRIT OF AMPARO
27. ^ Supremecourt.gov.ph, SC Approves Rule on Writ of Amparo
28. ^ GMA NEWS.TV, SC approves rule on writ of amparo vs extralegal killings
29. ^ GMA NEWS.TV, Writ of amparo not enough – Hong Kong rights group
30. ^ Inquirer.net, Habeas data: SC’s new remedy vs killings, disappearances
31. ^ Inquirer.net, 3 Bulacan courts to use Filipino in judicial proceedings
32. ^ Abs-Cbn Interactive, Payoff allegation hounds Supreme Court
33. ^ High Court takes up reports linking member to payoff
34. ^ Inquirer.net, SC to investigate bribery allegations vs one of its justices
35. ^ Supremecourt.gov.ph, HENRY T. GO vs. 5th Div. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 172602
36. ^ Inquirer.net, SC orders Sandiganbayan to drop criminal raps vs PIATCo head
37. ^ High Court takes up reports linking member to payoff
38. ^ Inquirer.net, SC to investigate bribery allegations vs one of its justices
39. ^ ManilaStandardToday, Justices to probe bribe try on official
40. ^ Inquirer.net, SC to look into P10-M ‘bribe’ to magistrate
41. ^ Inquirer.net, SC justice behind smear campaign vs Santiago -- senator
42. ^ ManilaStandardToday, Justices hale publisher on bribery story
43. ^ Abs-Cbn Interactive, SC to Jake Macasaet: Explain write-up vs magistrate
44. ^ Inquirer.net, SC asks publisher to explain allegation against justice
45. ^ Malaya, SC threatens Malaya publisher with contempt over bribery report
46. ^ Newsbreak, Supreme Court Justice Suspected of Accepting Payoff
47. ^ GMA NEWS.TV, Malaya publisher defends self from possible contempt raps


The Puno| Court
Reynato S. Puno (2006-present|)
August 2, 2007– present:L. Quisumbing | C. Ynares-Santiago | A. Sandoval-Gutierrez | A. Carpio | A. Austria-Martinez | R. Corona | C. Carpio-Morales | | A. Azcuna | D. Tinga | M. Chico-Nazario | C. Garcia | P. Velasco, Jr. | A. Nachura| R. Reyes |
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Philippines

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political history of the Philippines as a unified archipelago begins with the rule of the Spanish monarchs of the Philippines.
  • Politics of the Philippines
  • Prehistoric Philippines

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Philippines

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Philippines

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<onlyinclude>This a complete list of Presidents of the Philippines that consists of the 14 heads of state in the history of the Philippines. The list includes Presidents who were inaugurated as President of the Philippines
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Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (born April 5, 1947), also known by her initials "G.M.A.", is the 14th and current president of the Republic of the Philippines. She is the country's second female president after Corazon Aquino.
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Philippines

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Politics of the Philippines



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This is a complete list of Vice Presidents of the Philippines. The list includes Vice Presidents who were inaugurated by as Vice President of the Philippines following the ratification of a constitution that explicitly declared the existence of the Philippines.
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Manuel "Noli" Leuterio De Castro, Jr. (born July 6, 1949) is a politician and former broadcast journalist in the Philippines. De Castro was elected Senator in 2001 and was elected as Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines in 2004.
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Philippines

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In Philippine politics, the Cabinet consists of the heads of the largest part of the executive branch of the national government. Currently, it includes the secretaries of 18 executive departments and the heads of other several other minor agencies and offices that are subordinate
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Congress of the Philippines

Type Bicameral
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
Senate President Manuel B. Villar Jr.
House Speaker Jose C. De Venecia, Jr.
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Philippines

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20th century - 21st century - 22nd century
1970s  1980s  1990s  - 2000s -  2010s  2020s  2030s
2004 2005 2006 - 2007 - 2008 2009 2010

2007 by topic:
News by month
Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun
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This article or section contains information about scheduled or expected future events.
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Senate of the Philippines

Type Upper house
Houses Senate
Senate President Manuel B. Villar, Jr., Nacionalista
since July 24, 2006
Senate President pro tempore Jinggoy P.
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House of Representatives of the Philippines

Type Lower house
Houses House of Representatives
House Speaker Jose C. de Venecia, Jr., Lakas-CMD
since July 23, 2001
Deputy Speakers Arnulfo T. Fuentebella Luzon
Raul V.
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Manuel "Manny" Bamba Villar, Jr. (born December 13, 1949) is a Filipino businessman and politician, currently the President of the Senate — the third highest ranking official of the Philippines.
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Philippines

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José C. de Venecia, Jr.

Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines
1992–1998, 2001–incumbent


Representative, 4th District
of Pangasinan

1987–1998, 2001-incumbent

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Philippines

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Reynato S. Puno (born May 17, 1940) is the incumbent Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Appointed on December 8, 2006 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he is the 22nd person to serve as Chief Justice.
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Philippine Court of Appeals (Filipino: Hukumang Paghahabol ng Pilipinas) is the country's second highest judicial court, just after the Supreme Court. The court consists of 68 Associate Justices and 1 Presiding Justice.
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Sandiganbayan is a special court in the Philippines which was established under Presidential Decree No. 1606. Its rank is equivalent to the Court of Appeals. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Presiding Justice.
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Philippine Court of Tax Appeals (Filipino: Hukumang Paghahabol sa Buwis ng Pilipinas) is the special court of limited jurisdiction, and has the same level with the Court of Appeals. The court consists of 5 Associate Justices and 1 Presiding Justice.
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Philippine Ombudsman is an ombudsman responsible for investigating and prosecuting government officials in the Philippines who are allegedly guilty of crimes.

The Offices of the Ombudsman independently monitor the government and all three of its branches.
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Philippines

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Government
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Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
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Philippines

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Politics of the Philippines



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Political history Constitution

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President (list)
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Vice President
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