President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr. as a member of the Supreme Court (SC), Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go said yesterday.
“Jose Reyes Jr. new SC Justice,” Go announced in a text message to reporters.
He said Reyes will take his oath on 13 August.
Reyes becomes Mr. Duterte’s fifth appointee to the SC, the others being Associate Justices Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes Jr. and Alexander Gesmundo.
The 67-year-old Reyes was a topnotcher on the shortlist of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) submitted to the President after obtaining a perfect seven votes.
Others on the shortlist include Supreme Court Administrator Midas Marquez, former Ateneo Law School dean Cesar Villanueva and Reyes’ five fellow CA Associate Justices, Amy Lazaro Javier, Ramon Garcia, Apolinario Bruselas, Rosmari Carandang and Ramon Paul Hernando.
Reyes will replace SC Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 last 8 August.
Prior to his appointment in the CA, where he served for 15 years, Reyes was a Metropolitan Trial Court judge in Pasig and Regional Trial Court judge in Rizal.
Like Duterte, Reyes is also a San Beda Law alumnus. Reyes was one of the justices who issued the temporary restraining order halting the suspension of Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay.
3 more seats to open
Three more vacancies in the SC will happen this year in view of the ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno via quo warranto proceedings, the appointment of Martires as Ombudsman and the upcoming retirement in October of Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro.