SC meets on Friday via video conferencing for Justice Andres Reyes Jr.'s retirement

Published May 5, 2020, 3:30 PM

by manilabulletin_admin


By Reynaldo Panaligan

Supreme Court (SC) justices, led by Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta, will meet in a full court session via video conferencing on Friday, May 8, for the retirement ceremony of Associate Justice Andres B. Reyes Jr.


Justice Reyes retires on Monday, May 11, when he turns 70, the mandatory retirement age for members of the judiciary. He was appointed to the SC on July 13, 2017 by President Duterte.

It was not known immediately if the SC, while on video conferencing session, would discuss other matters pending before it.

Friday’s session would be the third time that SC justices would meet through video conferencing. The first time was when it acted on the petition of several persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who sought their release for fear of coronavirus disease infection in jails. The second time was when the SC authorized the release of the results of the 2019 bar examinations.

Reyes’ retirement ceremony would be the first of such rites online.

With the declaration of national health emergency and the subsequent imposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) as a result of the threats of the coronavirus disease, all courts in the country have been physically closed and managed only by skeleton staff.

Justices, judges and other court officials and employees are on call to decide on urgent matters like petitions to post bail.

Starting last Monday, May 4, the SC also pilot tested video conferencing in selected trial courts in the country to expedite the resolution of cases involving PDLs – those in jails while their cases are being heard and awaiting decisions.

Before his SC stint, Justice Reyes was the presiding justice of the Court of Appeals (CA), the second highest court in the country.

He started his career in the judiciary as a trial court judge in 1987. He was promoted to the CA in 1999.

He is the son of the late Justice Andres C. Reyes Sr., former CA presiding justice, and grandson of the late Alex A. Reyes, also a former CA justice and later of the SC.

The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), the constitutional office that nominates appointments in the judiciary, has yet to come out with its list of nominees to replace Reyes.

Under the Constitution, the President has 90 days from May 11, 2020 to appoint Reyes’ replacement.

Whoever is appointed in lieu of Reyes would be the President’s 11th incumbent appointee in the 15-member SC.

The other Duterte appointees are Associate Justices Alexander G. Gesmundo, Jose C. Reyes Jr., Ramon Paul L. Hernando, Rosmari D. Carandang, Amy C. Lazaro Javier, Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, Rodil V. Zalameda, Mario V. Lopez, Edgardo L. Delos Angeles, and Samuel H. Gaerlan.

Aside from Peralta the other incumbent SC members are Senior Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas Bernabe and Associate Justices Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa.