Anisah Amanodin-Umpa: 1st Moro woman Associate Justice in 84-year old Court of Appeals

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 December) – Iligan City Judge Anisah Bagul Amanodin-Umpa made history on Tuesday, December 22, as the first Moro woman sworn in as Associate Justice in the 84-year-old Court of Appeals (CA).

It is not clear why her oath-taking took place eight months and nine days after her appointment. President Rodrigo Duterte appointed her as CA Associate Justice on April 13, 2020 to replace Justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, who was named Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 29, 2019.

Amanodin-Umpa, who hails from Balindong, Lanao del Sur, is the second Moro in the CA. The first, also a Meranaw, is Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao of Marawi City who was appointed in 2005.

Anisah Bagul Amanodin-Umpa took her oath as Associate Justice in the Court of Appeals on Tuesday, December 22, before Supreme Court Justice Rodil Zalameda. She is the first Moro woman to have been appointed Associate Justice in the 84-year old appellate court. Photo courtesy of NCMF

Jun Alonto Datu Ramos, Bureau Director for External Relations and spokesperson of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, announced via social media on Tuesday afternoon. “Good news!!! First female Court of Appeals Associate Justice is Muslim Filipino from Lanao del Sur!!!!” Ramos wrote.

Ramos could not say why the delay in oath-taking. MindaNews tried to reach Amanodin-Umpa but she has not sent her reply. But among the documents that Ramos posted along with photographs of the new Justice was a copy of the April 13, 2020 letter of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to Supreme Court Justice Diosdado Peralta, transmitting the appointment paper of Amanodin-Umpa.

Medialdea’s letter was received by the SC’s Office of the Clerk of Court En Banc, according to the time stamp, at 11:31 a.m. on December 22.

Amanodin-Umpa took her oath on the same day before Supreme Court Associate Justice Rodil Zalameda.

Anisah Bagul Amanodin-Umpa, first Moro woman to have been appointed Associate Justice in the 84-year old Court of Appeals. Photo courtesy of NCMF

The new CA Justice finished BSBA Major in Accountancy and Bachelor of Laws at the Mindanao State University main campus in Marawi City, became a Certified Public Accountant in 1985 and passed the bar in 1991. “She was a full scholar and graduated as cum laude,” Ramos said.

He said Amanodin-Umpa worked as a Public Attorney and Clerk of Court V before she was named Judge of the Regional Trial Court Branch 2 in Iligan City.

The Court of Appeals has 69 justices including the presiding judge and 23 divisions, the last three in Cagayan de Oro City

Ramos is still verifying which division Amanodin-Umpa has been assigned to. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)