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The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines (Filipino: Punong Mahistrado ng Kataas-taasang Hukuman ng Pilipinas) presides over the Supreme Court of the Philippines and is the highest judicial officer of the government of the Philippines. The incumbent chief justice is Maria Lourdes Sereno, who was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III on August 24, 2012.[1]

Duties and powers

The power to appoint the chief justice lies with the president, who makes the selection from a list of three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council. There is no material difference in the process of selecting a chief justice from that in the selection of associate justices. As with the other justices of the Supreme Court, the chief justice is obliged to retire upon reaching the age of 70; otherwise there is no term limit for the chief justice. In the 1935 constitution, any person appointed by the president has to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments; in the 1973 constitution, the person whom the president has appointed won't have to go confirmation under the Commission on Appointments.

The Constitution does not ascribe any formal role to the chief justice other than as an ex-officio chairman of the Judicial and Bar Council and as the presiding officer in any impeachment trial of the president. The chief justice is also required to personally certify every decision that is rendered by the court. He or she carries only 1 vote out of 15 in the court, and is generally regarded, vis-a-vis the other justices, as the primus inter pares rather than as the administrative superior of the other members of the court.

Still, the influence a chief justice may bear within the court and judiciary, and on the national government cannot be underestimated. In the public eye, any particular Supreme Court is widely identified with the identity of the incumbent chief justice, hence appellations such as "The Fernando Court" or "The Puno Court". Moreover, the chief justice usually retains high public visibility, unlike the associate justices, who tend to labor in relative anonymity, with exceptions such as Associate Justice J. B. L. Reyes in the 1950s to 1970s.

By tradition, it is also the chief justice who swears into office the President of the Philippines. One notable deviation from that tradition came in 1986, and later again in 2010. Due to the exceptional political circumstances culminating in the People Power Revolution, on February 25, 1986, Corazon Aquino took her oath of office as President before then Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee in San Juan just minutes before Ferdinand Marcos took his own oath of office also as President before Chief Justice Ramon Aquino. Marcos fled into exile later that night. More than two decades afterwards, Benigno Simeon Aquino III followed in his mother's footsteps (with almost similar reasons) by having then Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales (now the incumbent Ombudsman) swear him in, rather than then Chief Justice Renato Corona (who was eventually impeached halfway through Aquino's term). 6 years later, in 2016, Rodrigo Duterte was sworn into office by Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes, his classmate at San Beda College of Law, instead of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

And the chief justice is the chief executive officer of the Philippine Judiciary system and together with the whole Supreme Court, exercises administrative supervision over all courts and personnel.

List of chief justices

Portraits of the chief justices at the Supreme Court Building.
Legend:
  Escuela de Derecho de Manila (Now Manila Law College)
# Name Began Ended Tenure Appointed by
1 Cayetano Arellano
(March 2, 1847 – December 23, 1920)
June 11, 1901 April 12, 1920 18 years, 306 days William McKinley
(Republican)
2 Victorino Mapa
(February 25, 1855 – April 12, 1927)
July 1, 1920 October 31, 1921 1 year, 122 days Woodrow Wilson
(Democratic)
3 Manuel Araullo
(January 1, 1853 – July 26, 1924)
November 1, 1921 July 26, 1924 2 years, 268 days Warren G. Harding
(Republican)
4 Ramón Avanceña
(April 13, 1872 – June 12, 1957)
April 1, 1925 December 24, 1941 16 years, 267 days Calvin Coolidge
(Republican)
5 José Abad Santos1
(February 19, 1886 – May 7, 1942)
December 24, 1941 May 7, 1942 134 days Manuel L. Quezon
(Nacionalista)
6 José Yulo
(September 24, 1894 – October 27, 1976)
May 7, 1942 July 9, 1945 3 years, 63 days Japanese Military Administration
7 Manuel Moran
(October 27, 1893 – August 23, 1961)
July 9, 1945 March 20, 1951 5 years, 254 days Sergio Osmeña
(Nacionalista)
8 Ricardo Paras
(February 17, 1891 – October 10, 1984)
April 2, 1951 February 17, 1961 9 years, 321 days Elpidio Quirino
(Liberal)
9 César Bengzon
(May 29, 1896 – September 3, 1992)
April 28, 1961 May 29, 1966 5 years, 31 days Carlos P. Garcia
(Nacionalista)
10 Roberto Concepcion
(June 7, 1903 – May 3, 1987)
June 17, 1966 April 18, 1973 6 years, 305 days Ferdinand Marcos
(Nacionalista)
11 Querube Makalintal
(December 22, 1910 – November 8, 2002)
October 21, 1973 December 22, 1975 2 years, 62 days
12 Fred Ruiz Castro
(September 2, 1914 – April 19, 1979)
January 5, 1976 April 19, 1979 3 years, 104 days Ferdinand Marcos
(Kilusang Bagong Lipunan)
13 Enrique Fernando
(July 25, 1915 – October 13, 2004)
July 2, 1979 July 24, 1985 6 years, 22 days
14 Felix Makasiar
(November 20, 1915 – February 19, 1992)
July 25, 1985 November 19, 1985 117 days
15 Ramon Aquino
(August 31, 1917 – March 31, 1993)
November 20, 1985 March 6, 1987 1 year, 106 days
16 Claudio Teehankee, Sr.
(April 18, 1918 – November 27, 1989)
April 2, 1987 April 18, 1988 1 year, 16 days Corazon Aquino
(United Nationalist Democratic Organization)
17 Pedro Yap
(July 1, 1918 – November 20, 2003)
April 19, 1988 June 30, 1988 72 days
18 Marcelo Fernan
(October 24, 1926 – July 11, 1999)
July 1, 1988 December 6, 1991 3 years, 158 days
19 Andres Narvasa
(November 30, 1928 - October 31, 2013)
December 8, 1991 November 30, 1998 6 years, 357 days
20 Hilario Davide, Jr.
(born December 20, 1935)
November 30, 1998 December 20, 2005 7 years, 20 days Joseph Estrada
(Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino)
21 Artemio Panganiban
(born December 7, 1937)
December 20, 2005 December 7, 2007 1 year, 352 days Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
(Lakas)
22 Reynato Puno
(born May 17, 1940)
December 8, 2007 May 17, 2010 2 years, 160 days
23 Renato Corona2
(October 15, 1948 - April 29, 2016)
May 17, 2010 May 29, 2012 2 years, 12 days
24 Maria Lourdes Sereno
(born July 2, 1960)
August 25, 2012 Incumbent 5 years, 223 days Benigno Aquino III
(Liberal)
^1 José Abad Santos was unable to preside over the Supreme Court due to the outbreak of World War II.
^2 Renato Corona was impeached on December 12, 2011, and convicted on May 29, 2012, removing him from office. Antonio Carpio, the most senior associate justice, was acting chief justice from May 30, 2012, to August 25, 2012, when Maria Lourdes Sereno was sworn into office by President Benigno Aquino III.[2]

Longevity

OL
OO
Chief Justice
Date of Birth
Date of Death
Longevity
(Years, Days)
Longevity
(Days)
1 9 Bengzon, CésarCésar Bengzon May 29, 1896 September 3, 1992 96 years, 97 days 35,160 days
2 8 Paras, RicardoRicardo Paras February 17, 1891 October 10, 1984 93 years, 236 days 34,203 days
3 11 Makalintal, QuerubeQuerube Makalintal December 11, 1910 November 8, 2002 91 years, 333 days 33,571 days
4 13 Fernando, EnriqueEnrique Fernando July 25, 1915 October 3, 2004 89 years, 70 days 31,482 days
5 17 Yap, PedroPedro Yap July 1, 1918 November 20, 2003 86 years, 142 days 31,554 days
6 4 Avanceña, RamónRamón Avanceña April 13, 1872 June 12, 1957 85 years, 60 days 31,105 days
7 2 Narvasa, AndresAndres Narvasa November 30, 1928 October 31, 2013 84 years, 335 days 31,016 days
8 10 Concepcion, RobertoRoberto Concepcion June 7, 1903 May 3, 1987 83 years, 330 days 30,646 days
9 20 Davide, HilarioHilario Davide December 20, 1935 Living 82 years, 106 days 30,057 days
10 6 Yulo, JoséJosé Yulo September 24, 1894 October 27, 1976 82 years, 33 days 29,983 days
11 21 Panganiban, ArtemioArtemio Panganiban December 7, 1937 Living 80 years, 119 days 29,339 days
12 22 Puno, ReynatoReynato Puno May 17, 1940 Living 77 years, 323 days 28,447 days
13 14 Makasiar, FelixFelix Makasiar August 31, 1917 February 19, 1992 74 years, 172 days 27,200 days
14 15 Aquino, RamonRamon Aquino November 20, 1915 March 31, 1993 77 years, 131 days 27,850 days
15 1 Arellano, CayetanoCayetano Arellano March 2, 1847 December 20, 1920 73 years, 293 days 26,956 days
16 18 Fernán, MarceloMarcelo Fernán October 24, 1926 July 11, 1999 72 years, 260 days 26,558 days
17 2 Mapa, VictorinoVictorino Mapa February 25, 1855 April 12, 1927 72 years, 46 days 26,343 days
18 3 Araullo, ManuelManuel Araullo January 1, 1853 July 26, 1924 71 years, 207 days 26,138 days
19 16 Teehankee, ClaudioClaudio Teehankee, Sr. April 18, 1918 July 11, 1999 81 years, 84 days} 29,669 days
20 7 Moran, ManuelManuel Moran October 27, 1893 August 23, 1961 67 years, 300 days} 24,771 days
21 23 Corona, RenatoRenato Corona October 15, 1948 April 29, 2016 67 years, 197 days} 24,668 days
22 12 Castro, Fred RuizFred Ruiz Castro September 2, 1914 April 19, 1979 64 years, 229 days} 23,605 days
23 24 Sereno, Maria LourdesMaria Lourdes Sereno July 2, 1950 Living 57 years, 277 days 21,096 days
24 5 Santos, Jose AbadJose Abad Santos February 19, 1886 May 7, 1942 56 years, 77 days 20,530 days

[3]

Chief justices

Timeline

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ "Maria Lourdes A. Sereno". Official Gazette. Aug 24, 2012. Retrieved Aug 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Carpio is acting chief justice under SC order". Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 30, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012. 
  3. ^ Updated daily according to UTC.
  4. ^ "Senate votes 20-3 to convict Corona". Inquirer.net. May 29, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012. 

Further reading