SC names Villanueva OIC court administrator

MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday designated an officer-in-charge (OIC) court administrator following the appointment of Jose Midas Marquez as new associate justice of the high tribunal.

In a memorandum order, the high court designated Deputy Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva as OIC “pending the appointment of a regular Court Administrator.”

Villanueva “shall exercise the functions and perform the duties of the head of office…until the appointment of regular Court Administrator or until further orders, whichever comes first,” the order added.

Meanwhile, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) congratulated Marquez on his appointment to the SC.

“His appointment to the high court is in acknowledgment of his long-standing service to the Supreme Court,” IBP national president and Board of Governors chairman Burt M. Estrada said.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte appointed Marquez as the 192nd associate justice of the high court, replacing retired Justice Edgardo L. Delos Santos.

The appointment brings to 12 justices appointed to the high tribunal with three Associate Justices Benjamin Caguioa, Marvic Leonen and Estela Perlas-Bernabe the remaining appointees of past administrations.

Marquez’s appointment also brings to six, the number of Ateneo Law School alumni in the high court including Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo. Three of the justices are from the University of the Philippines and one alumnus each from the Ateneo de Davao, the University of Santo Tomas, and the University of the East.

Marquez, 55, will be the second youngest member of the court next to Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando who is six months younger.

Before Marquez, Duterte appointed Court of Appeals associate justice Japar Dimaampao to the Supreme Court, the second Muslim to hold the office, last September.

Notably during his stint as court administrator, Marquez stood beside embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona when he was ousted during impeachment proceedings during the Aquino administration.

Marquez also supervised the court’s handling of the case of the Maguindanao massacre case which involved charges arising from the killing of 58 individuals.

According to the Constitution, for a person to be appointed to the Supreme Court, he must be a natural born citizen of the Philippines, at least 40 years old and must have been a judge or engaged in the practice of law for at least 15 years or more.

An additional constitutional requirement, though less precise in nature, is that a judge “must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence.” 

Benjamin Pulta/PNA

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