Will the ‘gods of Padre Faura’ junk or uphold the Anti-Terrorism Act?

By the Right to Know, Right Now Coalition

The Big Picture

EXACTLY 47 years ago on February 2, the 1987 Philippine Constitution was ratified at a plebiscite conducted on the same day.

Of the 21,785,216 Filipinos who voted from 83,288 precincts across the nation, nearly 8 in 10 or 77 percent (16.2 million voted yes, and only 22.9 percent or 4.95 million voted no – an overwhelming mandate for the new Charter.

Today, February 2, 2021, the 1987 Constitution faces possibly its gravest test as the Supreme Court  conducts oral arguments on 37 petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (Republic Act No. 11479).

Approved by the 1986 Constitutional Commission on Oct. 12, 1986, after over four months of deliberations, the Constitution came into force after a plebiscite conducted four months later. On Feb. 11, 1987, through Proclamation No. 58, then President Corazon C. Aquino proclaimed the 1987 Philippine Constitution ratified. From drafting to plebiscite, it took 48 national, regional, and sectoral representatives to collectively draft  the Constitution, and 16.2 million voters to ratify it, across an eight-month period.

In contrast, the Anti-Terrorism Act breezed through the legislative wringer and on to final signature by Duterte all in six months’ time.

The rush to pass the law happened amid a pandemic that saw new cases hitting a seven-day average of only 47 in early March soaring to 895 seven-day average in early July. On the day Duterte signed the law, the Philippines recorded 1,531 new Covid-19 cases.

It started in the Senate where, on Feb. 26, 2020, the senators voted 19-2 to approve on final reading the chamber’s version of the bill Senate Bill No. 1083) to supposedly “provide more teeth to the against terrorism and effectively repealing the Human Security Act of 2007, Feb. 26, 2020.” The bill was prepared by the Committees on National Defense and Security; Peace, Unification and Reconciliation; and Finance with Senate President Tito Sotto III, and Senators Panfilo Lacson Jr. Imee Marcos, Lito Lapid, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, and Ronald dela Rosa as co-authors. Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis Pangilinan cast negative votes.

On June 3, 2020, within days after Duterte certified the bill as “urgent”, the House of Representatives rushed to approve on a final reading its version (House Bill 6875) with 173  lawmakers voting yes, 31 no, and 29 abstention. An initial 71 House members signed off as co-authors but 20 later withdrew, as the bill met with criticism from various sectors.

A month later on July 3, 2020, Duterte signed the bill into law; 15 days later, after its publication on government’s online Official Gazette, the Justice department said the law took effect on July 18, 2020. The Anti-Terrorism Council crafted and published its 48-page Implementing Rules and Regulations for the law on Oct. 16, 2020, about 90 days after Duterte signed the law with no veto of any provision at all.

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at the Supreme Court, a dozen lawyers will speak on behalf of the complainants in the 37 petitions. The Solicitor General and 13 assistants, on the other hand, will represent Duterte, the Anti-Terrorism Council members who are mostly all his appointees, the senators, the lawmakers, the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police, who are impleaded as respondents in the petitions.

In an advisory issued on Jan. 5, 2021, the high court instructed the two panels to focus on certain “essential issues” including:

  • “Whether petitioners have legal standing to sue;
  • Whether the issues raised in the petitions involve an actual and justiciable controversy;
  • Whether petitioners’ direct resort to the Supreme Court is proper;
  • Whether facial challenge is proper;
  • Whether a temporary restraining order or a status quo ante order should be issued;
  • Whether Republic Act No. (RA) 11479 should already be declared unconstitutional in its entirety if the Court finds that the definition of terrorism as well as the powers of the ATC are constitutionally infirm.”

Just as important, the high court these “substantive issues” must be discussed:

  • “Whether Section 4 defining and penalizing the crime of “terrorism” is void for vagueness or overbroad in violation of the constitutional rights to due process, free speech and expression, to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation, and non-detention solely by reason of political beliefs;
  • Whether Sections 5 to 14 defining and penalizing threats to commit terrorism, planning, training, preparing, and facilitating terrorism, conspiracy, proposal, inciting to terrorism, material support, and other related provisions, are:
    • void for vagueness or overbroad in violation of the above-stated constitutional rights, as well as the freedom of religion, association, non-detention solely based on political beliefs, and academic freedom; and
    • violative of the prohibition against ex post facto laws and bills of attainder.
  • Whether the uniform penalties for all punishable acts under Sections 4 to 14 violate the constitutional proscription against the imposition of cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment;
  • Whether surveillance under Section 16 violates the constitutional rights to due process, against unreasonable searches and seizures, to privacy of communication and correspondence, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, and accused’s right to be presumed innocent;
  • Whether judicial authorization to conduct surveillance under Section 17 violates the constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures, and forecloses the remedies under the rules on amparo and habeas data;
  • Whether the following powers of the ATC are unconstitutional:
    • power to designate terrorist individuals, groups and organizations under Section 25 for: (i) encroaching judicial power and the Supreme Court’s rule-making power; (ii) inflicting punishment ex post facto based on the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Consolidated List of designated terrorists, and other requests for designation by other jurisdictions or supranational jurisdictions; and (iii) violating due process and constitutional rights due to the lack of clear parameters for designation, absence of notice and hearing prior to designation, and lack of remedies to contest wrongful designation;
    • power to approve requests for designation by other jurisdictions or supranational jurisdictions for violating the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol;
    • power to apply for the proscription of terrorist individuals, groups, and organizations under Section 26 for violating due process and constitutional rights;
    • power to authorize arrest and detention without judicial warrant based on mere suspicion under Section 29 for violating separation of powers (executive and judicial), and constitutional rights to due process, against unreasonable searches and seizures, to bail, to be presumed innocent, and speedy disposition of cases;
    • power to adopt security classifications for its records under Section 45 for violating the right to information;
    • power to establish and maintain comprehensive database information systems on terrorism, terrorist activities and counterterrorism operations under Section 46 (e) for violating constitutional rights to due process and privacy of communication and correspondence;
    • power to grant monetary rewards and other incentives to informers under Section 46 (g) for lack of clear parameters;
    • power to require private entities and individuals to render assistance to the ATC under Section 46 (m) for violating the prohibition against involuntary servitude.
  • Whether Section 27 of RA 11479 on preliminary and permanent orders of proscription violates the prohibition against ex post facto laws and bills of attainder, and unconstitutionally punishes mere membership in an organization;
  • Whether the detention period under Section 29 of RA 11479 contravenes the Constitution, the Revised Penal Code, the Rules of Court, and international obligations against arbitrary detention;
  • Whether the restriction under Section 34 violates the constitutional rights to travel, against incommunicado detention, to bail and RA 9745 (Anti-Torture Act of 2009);
  • Whether Sections 35 to 36, in relation to Section 25, on the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s authority to investigate, inquire, and examine bank deposits, and freeze assets, violate separation of powers (judicial), as well as the constitutional right to due process, and right against unreasonable searches and seizures;
  • Whether Section 49 on the extra-territorial application of RA 11479 violates the freedom of association and the prohibition against ex post facto laws and bills of attainder;
  • Whether Section 54 on the ATC and Department of Justice’s power to promulgate implementing rules and regulations constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power for failure to meet the completeness and sufficient standard tests;
  • Whether Section 56 repealing RA 9372 (Human Security Act of 2007), violates the constitutional mandate to compensate victims of torture or similar practices and right to due process;
  • Whether RA 11479 violates the Indigenous Peoples and Moros’ rights to self-determination and self-governance under the Constitution;
  • Whether the House of Representatives gravely abused its discretion by passing House Bill No. 6875 (consolidated version of the house bills to amend the Human Security Act) in violation of the constitutionally-prescribed procedure.”

The court granted the petitioners and respondents a total of only 45 ,minutes each to present their arguments, coordinate with each other, and submit their manifestation by Jan. 13, 2021

A Legion Of Petitioners

HUMAN RIGHTS advocates and lawyers. Law schools and bar associations. Members of Congress. Nuns and priests. Workers and labor centers. Women. Youth and student leaders. Netizens. Party-list groups and from Mindanao and the sectors. Former senior government officials, vice president, senator, associate justices of the Supreme Court. Members of the 1986 Constitutional Commission.

Young, old, men, women, Filipinos united: Republic Act No. 11479, or The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, is unconstitutional, violates due process and the rule of law, and curtails fundamental freedoms.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. THE ANTI-TERRORISM ACT
NO. PETITION PETITIONERS 
1 G.R. No. 252578 HOWARD CALLEJA, ET AL.
2 G.R. No. 252579 REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN
3 G.R. No. 252580 DEAN MELENCIO S. STA. MARIA ET AL. (Far Eastern University Institute of Law Professors)
4 G.R. No. 252585 CARLOS ISAGANI ZARATE ET AL. (MAKABAYAN BLOC)
5 G.R. No. 252613 FORMER OGCC CHIEF RUDOLF JURADO ET AL.
6 G.R. No. 252623 CENTER FOR TRADE UNION AND HUMAN RIGHTS ET AL.
7 G.R. No. 252624 CHRISTIAN MONSOD ET AL.
8 G.R. No. 252646 SANLAKAS PARTY-LIST
9 G.R. No. 252702 FEDERATION OF FREE WORKERS (FFW) ET AL.
10 G.R. No. 252726 JOSE FERRER JR.
11 G.R. No. 252733 BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN (BAYAN)
12 G.R. No. 252736 RETIRED SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ANTONIO CARPIO ET AL.
13 G.R. No. 252741 COLUMNIST MA. CERES DOYO ET AL.
14 G.R. No. 252747 NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES ET AL.
15 G.R. No. 252755 KABATAANG TAGAPAGTANGGOL NG KARAPATAN ET AL. (KATAPAT)
16 G.R. No. 252759 ALGAMAR LATIPH, ET AL.
17 G.R. No. 252765 ALTERNATIVE LAW GROUPS, INC. (ALG)
18 G.R. No. 252767 MANILA BISHOP BODERICK PABILLO, SAN CARLOS, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL BISHOP GERARDO ALMINAZA ET AL.
19 G.R. No. 252768 GABRIELA
20 G.R. No. UDK1663 LAWRENCE YERBO
21 G.R. No. 252802 HENRY ABENDAN AND OTHER UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES CEBU STUDENTS
22 G.R. No. 252809 CONCERNED ONLINE CITIZENS (led by Mark Averilla)
23 G.R. No. 252903 CONCERNED LAWYERS FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES (including former Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay and former Sen.Rene Saguisag)
24 G.R. No. 252904 LONGID ET AL.
25 G.R. No. 252905 CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL LAW, INC., VERA FILES, LYCEUM OF THE PHILIPPINES UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW FACULTY ET AL.
26 G.R. No. 252916 MAIN MOHAMMAD, JIMMY BLA AND NAZR DILANGALEN, AND PHILIPPINE ALLIANCE OF HUMAN ADVOCATES
27 G.R. No. 252921 SANGGANUIANG KABATAAN OFFICIALS (led by Lemuel Gio Cayabyab of Brgy. Maglaking, San Carlos, Pangasinan)
28 G.R. No. 252984 ASSOCIATION OF MAJOR RELIGIOUS SUPERIORS IN THE PHILIPPINES ET AL.
29 G.R. No. 253018 UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES FACULTY REGENT DR. RAMON GUILLERMO ET AL.
30 G.R. No. 253100 PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION INC.
31 G.R. No. 253118 BALAY REHABILITATION CENTER INC. ET AL.
32 G.R. No. 253124 INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES ET AL.
33 G.R. No. 253242 COORDINATING COUNCIL FOR PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT AND GOVERNANCE INC. (CPDG)
34 G.R. No. 253252 PHILIPPINE MISEREOR PARTNERSHIP INCORPORATED (PMPI)
ET AL.
35 G.R. No. 253254 PAGKAKAISA NG KABABAIHAN PARA SA KALAYAAN
(KAISA KA)
36 UDK 16714 ANAK MINDANAO PARTLIST (AMIN) ET AL.
37 G.R. No. 253420 HAROUN ALRASHID A. LUCMAN JR. ET AL.


The Respondents In The 37 Petitions
 

  • President Rodrigo R. Duterte in his capacity as President and Commander in chief of the Republic of the Philippines;
  • Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, chairman of the Anti-Terrorism Council;
  • Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr. (ret.), National Security Adviser;
  • Teodoro Locsin Jr., Secretary of Foreign Affairs;
  • Delfin N. Lorenzana, Secretary of National Defense;
  • Eduardo Ano, Secretary of the Interior and Local Government;
  • Carlos G. Dominguez III, Secretary of Finance;
  • Menardo Guevarra, Secretary of Justice;
  • Gregorio Honasan II, Secretary of Information and Communications Technology;
  • The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) represented by Executive Director Mel Georgie B. Racela;
  • The Senate, represented by Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ C. Sotto III;
  • The House of Representatives, represented by then Speaker Alan Peter S. Cayetano;
  • The Armed Forces of the Philippines, represented by chief of staff, Filemon Santos Jr.;
  • The Philippine National Police, represented by PNP chief Archie Francisco F. Gamboa; and
  • The members of the Anti-Terrorism Council represented by Chairman Salvador Medialdea.

Will the ‘Gods of Padre Faura’ junk or uphold Anti-Terrorism Act?
Source of profiles: https://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/justices/

THE 15 Supreme Court justices include 11 who had been appointed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, to fill up vacancies in the highest court of the land.

The primus inter pares and chief justice Diosdado M. Peralta, was an appointee of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo but later became the third Duterte chief justice appointee, following the ouster of Ma. Lourdes P. Sereno by quo warranto petition in August 2018.

Only three of the 15 were appointees of former President Benigno S. Aquino III: Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic M.V. F. Leonen, and Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa. They are now the second to fourth most senior justices of the bench.

On account of a series of vacancies, the Duterte appointees came in a series, too, from August 2017 to January 23, 2021.

Eleven of the 15 had served in the Court of Appeals, two others in the Sandiganbayan (Peralta and Gesmundo), and two others in academe and private sector (Leonen and Caguiao), immediately prior to their high court posting.

The 11 justices that Duterte appointed include three graduates of his alma mater, the San Beda College of Law; three from the University of the Philippines College of Law; two from the Ateneo de Manila School of Law and one other from Ateneo de Davao; one from the University of San Carlos, and one from the University of Sto. Tomas Faculty of Civil Law.

The four non-Duterte appointees, meanwhile, are Perlas-Bernabe and Caguiao, who come from the Ateneo,  Leonen from UP, and Peralta, from UST.

Meet “the Gods of Padre Faura” who will sit in judgment on the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act:

CHIEF JUSTICE DIOSDADO M. PERALTA

Appointed to the Supreme Court in January 2009, and then as Chief Justice in October 2019. Born in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Chief Justice Peralta started his career in government service in 1987 when he was appointed Third Assistant City Fiscal of Laoag City. In 1988, he was assigned to the Prosecutor’s Office in the City of Manila.  He later became the Assistant Chief of the Investigation Division of the Office of the City Prosecutor in the early part of 1994. In September 1994, Chief Justice Peralta was appointed as Presiding Judge of Branch 95 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City.

As a prosecutor, he was recognized as the Most Outstanding Public Prosecutor of Manila for the year 1990-1991 by the City of Manila, and the Most Outstanding Public Prosecutor of the City of Manila in 1994 by the Department of Justice. As a trial court judge, he was awarded a Plaque of Commendation in 1999 by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Quezon City Chapter for his speedy and scholarly disposition of criminal cases. He was also awarded the 1999 Annual Pillars of the Criminal Justice System Award¸ given on the First Founding Anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC); in 2001, he was again awarded by the VACC for his continuous and consistent speedy disposition of criminal cases. Chief Justice Peralta is an alumnus (1979) of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics from the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in 1974. He is married to Court of Appeals Associate Justice Fernanda C. Lampas-Peralta.

JUSTICE ESTELA M. PERLAS-BERNABE

Appointed to the Supreme Court in September 2011. A native of Plaridel, Bulacan, Justice Perlas-Bernabe completed her pre-law studies, Bachelor of Science in Commerce, at St. Paul College Manila graduating magna cum laude in 1972. After earning her law degree from the Ateneo de Manila College of Law, graduating salutatorian, and passing the Bar in 1976, she immediately joined the Judiciary as Technical Assistant in the office of then Justice Lorenzo Relova. She has been teaching Practice Court and Evidence at the Ateneo College of Law since 2009. Among her many awards are the Court of Appeals Award for Exemplary Performance, CA Award of Recognition for Outstanding Performance in Case Disposition; Best Written Decision-Municipal/Metropolitan Trial Court from the Philippine Women JudgesAssociation; Natatanging Babaeng Hukom-Municipality of Plaridel, Bulacan; and Gawad Parangal 2008 as Outstanding Alumna for Dedicated Service to Country and People-St. Paul University Manila; and Huwaran Anak ng Bulakanand Gat Marcelo H. del Pilar Awards in 2011. She was the Bar Examiner in Mercantile Law in 2007.

JUSTICE MARVIC M.V.F. LEONEN

Appointed to the Supreme Court in November 2012. Justice  Leonen is a former Dean and Professor of Law at the University of the Philippines College of Law. He graduated with an AB Economics degree, magna cum laude, from the School of Economics in 1983. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the College of Law in 1987, ranking fourth. Later that year, he cofounded the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center, Inc, a legal and policy research and advocacy institution which focused on providing legal services for upland rural poor and indigenous people’s communities. He served as the Center’s executive director for fifteen years. He also earned a Master of Laws degree from the Law School of the Columbia University in New York. He first joined the faculty in 1989 as a professional lecturer in Philippine Indigenous Law. In 2000, he was invited to act as the UP System’s University General Counsel. In 2005, he became the first Vice President for Legal Affairs of the UP System, and in 2008, he became the Dean of the College of Law at the University of the Philippines. In July 2010, he was named by President Benigno Aquino III as the Philippine government’s chief negotiator with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front; a framework agreement on the Bangsamoro was signed on October 15, 2012.

JUSTICE ALFREDO BENJAMIN S. CAGUIOA

Appointed to the Supreme Court in January 2016. Justice Caguioa began his government service in the Executive Department, serving as Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel (CPLC) to former President Benigno C. Aquino III. As DOJ Secretary and Attorney-General of the government, Justice Caguioa rendered legal advice and opinions to government agencies and to government-owned and -controlled corporations. At the DOJ, he introduced reforms to streamline the agency’s operations and improve the quality of DOJ services to its stakeholders. He exercised supervision and control over the offices of the DOJ and exercised administrative supervision over DOJ-attached agencies such as the National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Corrections, Public Attorney’s Office, and Office of the Government Corporate Counsel. He also chaired the Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons as well as the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking. Prior to joining the government, Justice Caguioa had two and a half decades of experience in litigation and arbitration. Justice Caguioa joined SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCip) in 1986 and was a partner there from 1994 until 2007. In February 2007, Justice Caguioa withdrew from SyCip and founded Caguioa & Gatmaytan Law Firm (CaGat). He was at the helm of this full-service firm from its inception until his appointment as CPLC in January 2013.

Justice Caguioa taught Obligations and Contracts, Property, Statutory Construction, and Administrative Law at the Colleges of Law of Ateneo de Manila University, University of Santo Tomas and San Sebastian College. Justice Caguioa obtained his degree in Economics (Honors Program) from the College of Arts and Sciences of Ateneo de Manila University in 1981 (Honorable Mention), and graduated with honors from its College of Law in 1985, ranking fifth in his class. He was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1986 after placing fifteenth in the 1985 Bar examinations. He is currently the Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Oversight and a member of the Sub-Committee for the Revision of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

JUSTICE ALEXANDER G. GESMUNDO

Appointed to the Supreme Court in August 2017. Justice Gesmundo was previously an Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan, and served as Chairperson of its 7th Division and as co-Chairperson of the Sandiganbayan Committee on Rules. He obtained his law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1984 and passed the Bar in April 1985. He entered government service in August 1985 as Trial Attorney in the Office of the Solicitor General. He was awarded Most Outstanding Solicitor in 1998.  In August 2002, he was promoted to Assistant Solicitor General. He was on Seconded Appointment as Commissioner of the Presidential Commission on Good Government from July 17, 1998 to February 15, 2001.At the Supreme Court, Justice Gesmundo is Chairperson of the Technical Working Group for the Revision of the Law Student Practice Rule, and   the Organizing Committee for the 2019 Legal Education Summit. He is Vice Chairperson of the Special Committee for the Rules of Procedure for Admiralty Cases, Special Committee for the Rules on Inspection (under the Philippine Competition Act), the Sub-Committee for the Revision of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the Special Committee on the Rules of Procedure in Election Contests before the First Level Courts. He is also a Member of the Supreme Court Committees on Computerization and Library, on the Revision of the Rules of Court and   the Special Committee on Speedy Trial.

Justice Gesmundo was a member of the Corps of Professors and a Professorial Lecturer of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), particularly in remedial law. He was the Vice-Chairperson of the PHILJA’s Department of Remedial Law. He was the Examiner in Remedial Law in the 2009 and 2015 Bar examinations. He has taught various remedial law subjects at the Ateneo de Manila University, the Lyceum of the Philippines University, and the University of Perpetual Help, Las Piñas City. He was also a member of the core committee of the National Conference for the Revision of the Rules of Civil Procedure, a joint project of the Supreme Court, the UP Law Center, the PHILJA, and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). He is a member of the Committee on the Updating of the Benchbook for Philippine Trial Courts (Revised and Expanded) and of the Court of Tax Appeals 2004 Committee on Revision of the Rules of the Court of Tax Appeals.

JUSTICE RAMON PAUL L. HERNANDO

Appointed to the Supreme Court in October 2018. Born in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, Justice Hernando is an AB Literature graduate (1986) of the University of Sto. Tomas. He graduated from the San Beda College of Law in 1990. Prior to his admission to the Bar in 1992, Justice Hernando already commenced work in the public sector as a Confidential Assistant in the office of Supreme Court Justice Edgardo L. Paras in 1991. In the succeeding years, he worked in the office of Supreme Court Justice Florenz D. Regalado (1992-1998), the Department of Justice as a State Prosecutor (1998-2003), Presiding Judge of the RTC of San Pablo City, Laguna (2003-2006), RTC Judge of Quezon City (2006-2010) and Court of Appeals, to where he was promoted as an Associate Justice on February 16, 2010. He joined the Supreme Court as its 180th member on October 10, 2018. Since 1992, he has been a Professor of Law in Civil Law, Remedial Law and Commercial Law in various law schools, including San Beda College of Law, Ateneo de Manila School of Law, UST Faculty of Civil Law, FEU Institute of Law, San Sebastian College of Law, Angeles University Foundation School of Law (Angeles City), University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance (Cebu City) and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan College of Law (Cagayan de Oro City).He shared his expertise in Commercial Law as a Bar Examiner in that subject in the 2009, 2011 and 2016 Bar Examinations.

JUSTICE ROSMARI D. CARANDANG

Appointed to the Supreme Court in November 2018. Born in Ilog, Taal, Batangas, Justice Carandang obtained her Bachelor of Arts Major in Political Science at the University of the Philippines. Also from the same university, she obtained her Bachelor of Laws graduating Salutatorian of the class and Cum Laude in 1975. She garnered 9th place in the 1975 Bar examinations. Before she joined the Judiciary, Justice Carandang was connected with private financial and government institutions. In December 1993, she was appointed Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 12, serving also as one of its Vice-Executive Judges. She was appointed Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals in March 2003, serving the Court for over 15 years until her appointment to the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

JUSTICE AMY C. LAZARO-JAVIER

Appointed to the Supreme Court March 2019. Manila-born Justive Lazaro-Javier was previously a Court of Appeals associate justice, where she chaired the Gender and Development Committee. She has also been Vice Chairperson of Committee on Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary (CGRJ) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Oversight Sub-Committee. She was Bar Examiner in Political Law in 2011 and member of the Supreme Court Sub-Committee on Revision of Rules of Civil Procedure in 2012-2013. She practiced Law from 1983 to September 12, 2007 at the Office of the Solicitor General, first as Trial Attorney, then as Solicitor, and finally as Assistant Solicitor General, a post she held for 14 years before she became Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals. At the OSG, she also formed the OSG Abot Kamay Foundation for the benefit of the OSG rank-and-file employees, extending financial assistance to them during illness and other emergencies.

Justice Lazaro-Javier was a professor from 1983 to March 2019 at the UST Faculty of Civil Law, teaching Constitutional Law, Commercial Law, Civil Law, Remedial Law and Legal Ethics. Justice Lazaro-Javier also used to be a public school teacher in Lakandula High School, Tondo, Manila (1977 to 1978), Ramon Magsaysay High School, Espana, Manila (1978 to 1981) and Manila Science High School (1981 to 1983).

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Philippine Normal College in 1977 with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Education and received the award of Outstanding Student in Social Sciences in the same year. She was the Class Valedictorian (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Faculty of Civil Law in 1982; she passed the Bar Examination given in the same year.

JUSTICE HENRI JEAN PAUL B. INTING

Appointed to the Supreme Court in May 2019. Born in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, Justice Inting obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from Ateneo de Davao University in 1982 where he graduated cum laude. Prior thereto, he earned a degree in Bachelor of Science, Major in Psychology from the University of San Carlos Cebu. In 1978, as a working law student, he started as Clerk in the Bureau of Lands and, a year later, as Legal Researcher in the City Court of Davao City. After passing the 1982 Bar Examinations, he began his legal career as Senior Corporate Attorney in the National Housing Authority in 1983, and, as Appellate Court Supervising Staff Assistant of the then Intermediate Appellate Court (now Court of Appeals) in 1984.In 1986, he entered the then Citizen’s Legal Assistance Office, which later became known as the Public Attorney’s Office, where he served for nine year. Subsequently, he became a prosecutor for three years. In 1998, he was appointed as Presiding Judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 33, where he served for six years until his promotion to Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 95 in 2004. In September 2012, he was appointed as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals joining his sister, Associate Justice Socorro B. Inting, who would subsequently be appointed as Comelec Commissioner in 2018.

JUSTICE RODIL V. ZALAMEDA

Appointed to the Supreme Court in August 2019.  Born in Caloocan City, Justice Zalameda obtained his Bachelor of Laws Degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1987 under an academic scholarship grant. A member of the Fraternal Order of Utopia, he was a dean’s lister and served as Associate Editor of the Ateneo Law Journal and a senior staff member of the Ateneo Law Bulletin. After passing the Bar examinations in 1988, he joined the Judiciary as Branch Clerk 1 of the Makati City Regional Trial Court. A year later, he served as Clerk of Court V. From 1990-1995, he engaged in private practice but returned to government service as Prosecutor I in 1995 at the Office of the City Prosecutor, Mandaluyong City. He served as Prosecutor II (1997-2002) until he was appointed City Prosecutor in 2002.On September 11, 2008, then City Prosecutor Zalameda was appointed as Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice. He was the Chairperson of the CA 17th Division when he got appointed to the High Tribunal.

JUSTICE MARIO V. LOPEZ

Appointed to the Supreme Court in December 2019. Justice served as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals for 13 years before his appointment to the Supreme Court. He was the Chairperson of the Twelfth Division and the Chairperson of the Court of Appeals Rules Committee. He is a cum laude graduate of the San Beda College of Law. He was a technical assistant in the Supreme Court (1981-1983) before working as Hearing Officer in the Supervision and Examination Sector, Central Bank of the Philippines (1983-1985). He served in the Government as Special Prosecution Officer with the Office of the Ombudsman until his appointment as RTC Judge of Batangas City in 1994. In 2005, he was honored with the Chief Justice Ramon Avanceña Award as Outstanding RTC Judge of the Philippines and for the Best Decision in a Civil Case in Second Level Courts. He is a recipient of the prestigious Service Award of the Province of La Union in 2013.

Justice Lopez is a professor at San Beda College, University of the Philippines, University of Asia and the Pacific and Arellano University, where he was named the Most Outstanding Professor of the Year (2002 and 2004).  He is currently a Professorial Lecturer II at the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

Justice Lopez is a State Party Governmental Expert in Criminal Law of the UN Convention Against Corruption, a member of the Society for Judicial Excellence, ASEAN Law Association, an alumnus of the Harvard Law School, Massachusetts, USA, and a fellow of the Academy of American and International Law, Plano, Texas, USA. He was also a member of the 2014 Code of Crimes Committee and the Bar Exams Expert Committee at the University of the Philippines. He was the examiner in Criminal Law for the 2009 Bar Examination, and Legal Ethics for the 2017 Bar Examination.

JUSTICE EDGARDO L. DELOS SANTOS

Appointed to the Supreme Court in December 2019. Born in Palompon, Leyte, Justice Delos Santos is an AB Political Science graduate of the University of San Carlos, where he also later obtained his law degree. He started his career in law as Legal Researcher – I in the then Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) under Presiding Judge (later Court of Appeals Associate Justice) Abelardo M. Dayrit.  He then transferred to the Supreme Court as Technical Assistant under Associate Justice (later Chief Justice) Felix V. Makasiar before being promoted to Court Confidential Attorney in the same office. In 1983, he was appointed as Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court (single sala) of Siaton, Negros Oriental.  After the EDSA Revolution, he was re-appointed in February of 1987 as Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities – Branch 1 of Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental where he was eventually designated by the Supreme Court as its first Executive Judge. In 1993, he was promoted as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court – Branch 45 in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.  Apart from his regular assignment in the RTC, he also concurrently handled several other stations located the following cities: Guihulngan City (Branch 64), San Carlos City (Branches  57, 58 and 59), Kabankalan City (Branch 61), Himamaylan City (Branch 55), Sipalay City (Branch 69) and Bacolod City (Branch 46).  He even served as the Acting Executive Judge in the RTC of San Carlos City.  His main sala (Branch 45) was later designated by the Supreme Court as the Special Drugs Court in Bacolod City.

In May 2008, he was promoted as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals where he was assigned in the Court’s Visayas Station in Cebu City and where he initially served as member of the 18th, 19th and 20th Divisions.  He has also been law professor in University of St. La Salle – Bacolod City from 1993 to 1999 and in Negros Oriental State University – Dumaguete City from 2008 – 2011 where he taught Remedial Law subjects and Legal Ethics.  He is also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of Casa Cittadini Foundation, Inc.—home for neglected girls and a non-profit institution run by the Ursuline Sisters of Somasca.

JUSTICE SAMUEL H. GAERLAN

Appointed to the Supreme Court in January 2020. Born in San Juan, La Union, Justice Gaerlan  obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from San Beda College in 1983 and was admitted to the Philippine Bar the year after. He started his professional career as a private practitioner, serving as lead counsel, Executive Director and/or Corporate Secretary of various companies and associations.  He became Public Attorney II of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) under the Department of Justice (DOJ) from 1990 to 1993.  Later, he joined the bench and served as Presiding Judge of the following: Municipal Trial Court of Bangar, La Union from 1993 to 2001; Regional Trial Court of San Fernando City, La Union, Branch 26, from 2001 to 2004; and Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 92, from 2004 to 2009. He has been named Most Outstanding RTC Judge of La Union for the year 2003 by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), La Union Chapter and Judicial Excellence Award for the year 2007 by the Rotary Club.  Likewise, during his stint as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, he was elected as Director for Quezon City of the Philippine Judges Association (PJA).  Subsequently, he was given the mandate of judges all over the country and was chosen to be the Vice-President for Internal Affairs of the said association. On July 15, 2009, he was appointed as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals.  He served as Chairperson of the Seventeenth (17th) Division before his appointment to the Supreme Court.

JUSTICE RICARDO R. ROSARIO

Appointed to the Supreme Court in October 2020. Justice Rosario obtained his pre-law degree in Political Science from the Far Eastern University in 1979, and his Bachelor of Laws degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1983. He is a proud member of the Aquila Legis Fraternity. After passing the Bar in 1984, Justice Rosario began his legal career as a Legal Officer at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), followed by a stint as Senior Corporate Attorney at the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS). By 1994, Justice Rosario was a Senior Assistant City Prosecutor for Quezon City. He became Judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila in 1997; Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati in 2000; and Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals in 2005, serving as Chairperson of various committees, including Chairperson of the Ninth Division of that Court. He served in the Court of Appeals for 15 years until his appointment to the Supreme Court. Justice Rosario is married to Maridur Virtucio Rosario, Regional Director of Region 8-A Makati in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

JUSTICE JHOSEP Y. LOPEZ

Appointed to the Supreme Court in January 2021.  Born in Umingan, Pangasinan, Justice Lopez served as Court of Appeals Associate Justice for almost nine years prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court. He served as a city prosecutor for six years before his appointment to the CA in May 2012. From 1993 to 2006, he was a partner at Lopez Rasul Maliwanag Baybay Palaran Law Offices. Justice Lopez also entered politics and served as a city councilor of Manila from 1992-1998 and 2001-2006. He previously worked as legal counsel in various offices, such as the UP Diliman Office of Legal Affairs, UP Manila-PGH, Senate, and legal consultant in the City Council of Manila and City Legal Office of Manila. He graduated cum laude with a degree in Political Science from UP Diliman, where he also pursued his law degree.

Counsel For The Respondents

On July 17, 2020, the Office of the Solicitor General submitted, on behalf of the respondents, a 233-page “Consolidated Comment” to the 37 petitions and asked the Supreme Court to “DENY the petitioners’ prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction; and DENY due course to and DISMISS the Petitions for utter lack of merit.” It said that the “respondents also ask for other forms of relief that the Court may deem just and equitable under the premises.”

Fourteen lawyers – the solicitor general and a dozen out of 28 assistant solicitors general in the office – signed as counsel in the Consolidated Comment as counsel for President Duterte and about two dozen other respondents (Senate, the House of Representatives, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Anti-Money-Laundering Council, and Anti-Terrorism Council):

  • Solicitor General Jose C. Calida, Office of the Solicitor General;
  • Antonia Edita C. Dizon, Assistant Solicitor General, San Beda College of Law graduate;
  • Marissa B. Dela Cruz Galandines, Assistant Solicitor General, San Beda College of Law graduate;
  • Bernard G. Hernandez, Assistant Solicitor General, San Beda College of Law graduate;
  • Vida G. San Vicente, Assistant Solicitor General, UP College of Law graduate;
  • John Manuel F. Madamba, Assistant Solicitor General, UST faculty of Civil Law;
  • Rex Bernardo L. Pascual, Assistant Solicitor General, Ateneo de Manila Law School graduate;
  • Magtanggol M. Castro, Assistant Solicitor General, Ateneo Law School graduate;
  • Eric Remegio O. Panga, Assistant Solicitor General, San Beda College of Law graduate;
  • Ellaine Rose A. Sanchez-Corro, Assistant Solicitor General, UST Faculty of Civil Law;
  • Maria Cielo G. Se-Rondain, Assistant Solicitor General, Ateneo Law School graduate;
  • Thomas M. Laragan, Assistant Solicitor General, UST Faculty of Civil Law;
  • Anna Esperanza R. Solomon, Assistant Solicitor General, UP College of Law graduate; and
  • Myrna N. Agno-Canuto, Assistant Solicitor General, UP College of Law graduate.

Counsel For The Petitioners

A DOZEN lawyers will argue the case for the 37 petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act during oral arguments scheduled on Feb. 2, Tuesday, at the Supreme Court. They will each be given five  to eight minutes to talk to the En Banc:

  • Jose Anselmo l. Cadiz, former solicitor general and former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP);alternate Randall C.Tabayoyong, also from IBP;
  • Jose Manuel l. Diokno, national chairman, Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) and founding dean of the De La Salle University College of Law; and Theodore Te, professor at the University of the Philippines College of Law, FLAG member, and former spokesperson of the Supreme Court;
  • Alfredo Molo Ill, faculty member of the UP College of Law, and former chair of the IBP editorial board and former member of the editorial board of the Harvard Asia Pacific Review.
  • Evalyn G. Ursua, faculty member, UP College of Law; alternate Josalee Deinla, from the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL);
  • Neri Javier Colmenares, former House of Representatives party-list member and chairman of Bayan Muna; and alternate Ephraim Cortez, NUPL;
  • Edcel C. Lagman, petitioner and district representative of Albay, House of Representatives; alternate Howard M. Calleja, professor of law at the Ateneo de Manila University and other law schools;
  • Algamar A. Latiph, Bangsa Moro Transition Authority executive lawyer and former chair of the Regional Human Rights Commission of the now-dissolved Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; and alternate Bantuas M. Lucman, grandnephew of the late Lanao del Sur congressman Haroun Al Rashid Lucman.

 

 

 

 

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