QC gov’t names new justice hall after first woman to sit in SC
Once completed, the new six-story hall of justice within the Quezon City hall compound will be named after the late Justice Cecilia Muñoz-Palma who presided over the Constitutional Commission (ConCom), which drafted the 1987 Constitution.
Mayor Herbert Bautista approved on Jan. 9 the ordinance naming the new building “Justice Cecilia Muñoz-Palma Hall” as a fitting tribute to the late Supreme Court associate justice described as a “revered legal luminary, a distinguished public servant, champion of human rights and epitome of integrity and probity.”
The new building, the construction cost of which is pegged at P98.4 million, is situated on a 5,573-square-meter lot near the old hall of justice. It will house the offices of the city prosecutor, public attorney, mediation, the local parole and probation, as well as that of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines local chapter.
The ordinance said that naming the new hall of justice after Palma, a longtime resident of Quezon City, was an apt recognition for the late public servant and legal luminary’s achievements as the first woman to top the Philippine Bar in 1937, the first woman to be named justice of the Supreme Court, the first woman president of the ConCom, as well as the first female prosecutor appointed by President Manuel Quezon.
Palma, who died on Jan. 2, 2006, at the age of 92, also served as a member of parliament in the defunct Batasan Pambansa from 1984 to 1986.
“Even during the dark days of martial law, Justice Muñoz-Palma exhibited exemplary courage and conviction in openly criticizing—through her dissenting opinions—both the civilian and military authorities for the rampant violation of our people’s constitutional and human rights,” the ordinance said.—Jeannette I. Andrade
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