Retired SC justice Lorenzo Relova; 98
MANILA, Philippines—Retired Supreme Court Justice Lorenzo Relova, who sat on the bench in the last years of the Marcos regime, died Thursday at the age of 98.
It was Relova who broke the deadlock in the high court on the question of whether to allow the February 1986 snap elections to proceed, thus triggering the events that finally led to the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos.
According to a Supreme Court announcement on Twitter, Relova’s remains will lie in state at St. Alphonsus Liguori Church in Magallanes Village, Makati City, beginning 4 p.m. today.
Relova was the 103rd associate justice of the Supreme Court, serving from May 14, 1982, to Jan. 19, 1986, according to the high tribunal’s public information office.
Before his death, Relova was the oldest living justice, having been born on Jan. 20, 1916, in Pila, Laguna. His father Antonio was the town’s first lawyer, according to the Pila Historical Society website.
Relova studied at the Ateneo de Manila from the elementary grades up to law school, finishing in 1939. He was among the first graduates of the Ateneo School of Law.
After World War II, Relova joined the government as a public prosecutor. In 1961, he was appointed a judge in Batangas City. There is an anecdote about then Judge Relova replacing a gift of lanzones that had been delivered to his home and eaten by members of his household.
Relova was named a justice of the Court of Appeals in 1975. In 1979, he was appointed the first Court Administrator of the Supreme Court.
According to articles on the Ateneo website and other Ateneo publications, Relova was among the justices named to the Supreme Court by Marcos following a scandal in the 1981 bar exam.
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