Who is Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes?
Contrary to tradition, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will take his oath before Supreme Court Associate Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes on June 30. The oath of the incoming President is usually administered by the Supreme Court Chief Justice. However, this is not required.
In 2010, President Benigno Aquino III took his oath of office before then Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, who is now the head of the Office of the Ombudsman.
Reyes obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Santo Tomas in 1967. He pursued his Bachelor of Laws Degree at San Beda College, where Duterte also finished law.
In 1971, Reyes finished his law degree and passed the bar examination in the same year.
He engaged in private practice before finally joining government service.
Reyes started his career in the judiciary as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court in Malabon City in 1990. He was appointed as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals on August 8, 2000.
During his stint at the Court of Appeals, he received recognition for having zero backlog in his docket as an associate justice.
According to the Supreme Court website, “ninety five percent of his decisions which were elevated to the Supreme Court were affirmed.”
On August 23, 2011, Reyes left his post at the Court of Appeals after he was appointed by Aquino.
In 2012, Reyes declined his nomination to be the next Chief Justice, saying he was one of the most junior members of the Supreme Court during that time.
Sources have said that Aquino offered him the Chief Justice post after he was nominated by Arturo M. De Castro, but Reyes wrote a letter to the Judicial and Bar Council. He said the letter would “serve as my blanket and automatic non-acceptance or declination of any nomination from any person or party to the said position.”
Reyes is one of the “brods” of Duterte at San Beda College fraternity Lex Talionis, which the former co-founded.
Duterte and Reyes are brods of another San Beda alumnus in the SC, Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza. JE
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