SC expects Justice Marquez to help review, innovate trial courts operations — CJ Gesmundo

Published November 17, 2021, 3:35 PM

by Rey Panaligan 

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo (2)

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo welcomed the appointment of Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez as associate justice of the Supreme Court (SC).

“His long stint as Court Administrator will help us in the review and planned innovation to the lower court’s operations,” Gesmundo said when his comment was sought by journalists covering the SC.

The appointment papers of Marquez were sent to the SC on Nov. 16 by Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea. On the same day, Marquez took his oath before Chief Justice Gesmundo at the SC’s session hall.

Justice Marquez filled up the post vacated last June 30 by the now retired Associate Justice Edgardo L. Delos Santos. His appointment and assumption to office completed the memberships in the SC which is composed of 15 justices.

SC Associate Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez

He had been the SC’s court administrator since 2010. The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) supervises all lower courts in the country.

With Marquez’s appointment, Chief Gesmundo has designated Deputy Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva as OCA’s officer-in-charge.

Just last Nov. 15, Marquez launched the “National Judgment Week” for all trial court judges. Under the program, all trial court judges will expedite resolution of cases, particularly those involving detained persons.

The week-long program, Marquez said in his memorandum, would also help in the decongestion of jails.

It was also the OCA, during the leadership of Marquez, that the SC implemented online hearings of cases through video conferencing to make the courts operational despite the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Marquez has been very visible in the judiciary not only because he headed the OCA for 11 years.

As OCA chief, he had served concurrently as the SC’s spokesperson and chief of the public information office (PIO).

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the country official organization of lawyers, has lauded Marquez’s appointment.

Through President Burt M. Estrada, the IBP said Marquez’s appointment “is an acknowledgment of his long-standing service to the Supreme Court….”

Several members of Congress, whether affiliated with the administration or with the opposition group, welcome Marquez’s appointment as a well-deserved promotion.

However, they challenged Justice Marquez to join the crusade in putting an end to the killing of lawyers and members of the judiciary.

The Ateneo de Manila University, Marquez’s alma mater, also welcomed his appointment.

“Justice Marquez, who had long served the High Court as its Court Administrator, is an alumnus of our Ateneo de Manila University School of Law, Class 1993,” Ateneo’s School of Law Dean Jose Maria G. Hofileña said.

Aside from Marquez, there are now six magistrates who graduated from Ateneo. The five others are Chief Justice Gesmundo, Senior Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas Bernabe, and Associate Justices Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguio, Rodil V. Zalameda and Ricardo R. Rosario.

“We extend our most sincere congratulations to Justice Marquez and we wish him all the best in his new role as he carries out his responsibilities with a fidelity to the Ateneo standards and values as to which we all strive to remain constantly true,” Hofileña said.

Marquez is expected to serve the SC until 2036 when he reaches age 70, the retirement age for members of the judiciary.

He passed the bar examinations in 1994. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1987 and his Juris Doctor degree in 1993, both from the Ateneo de Manila University.

He started his career in the SC as an apprentice and did legal research. He then became a regular law clerk and served several justices, among them then Chief Justices Reynato S. Puno and Renato Corona, Senior Associate Justice Josue N. Bellosillo and Associate Justices Abraham Sarmiento and Ameurfina Melencio Herrera.

He is a law professor. He is in the faculty of the Centro Escolar University’s School of Law and Jurisprudence. He is also an author and editor of law books.

In January 2022, there would be a vacancy in the SC when Associate Justice Rosmari D. Carandang retires. The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) — the constitutional offices that accepts, screens, and nominates appointments to the judiciary – had opened the application and nomination to the post.