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Outgoing SC justice to colleagues: Keep protecting judicial independence

/ 04:50 PM July 03, 2017
Bienvenido Reyes and Rodrigo Duterte

Supreme Court Justice Bienvenido Reyes administers the oath of office of Rodrigo Duterte as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines on June 30, 2016. (Pool photo from Malacañang)

Outgoing Supreme Court Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes called on his colleagues on Monday to continue protecting judicial independence.

“Protect the Supreme Court from unsavory meddling of those who are trying to taint its integrity,” Reyes said in his speech during his last flag-raising ceremony at the Supreme Court compound on Taft Avenue in Manila.

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Reyes, one of the six appointees of former President Benigno Aquino III, will step down at the mandatory age of 70 on July 6, 2017. He is a Lex Talionis fraternity brother of President Rodrigo Duterte. He was also the one who administered the oath of office of Duterte.

Reyes’s call came amid the conflict between the Court of Appeals and the House of Representatives over the case of six Ilocos Norte provincial officials being detained by lawmakers for contempt.

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The magistrate also issued the statement after Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez warned of the possible impeachment of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno because she reportedly met with CA justices and ordered them to defy the show cause order issued by the House against the three magistrates.

The Judicial and Bar Council has already submitted to Duterte a shortlist of seven nominees to replace Reyes.

The list includes CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr.; CA Justices Rosmari Carandang, Apolinario Bruselas Jr., Japar Dimaampao, and Amy Lazaro-Javier; and Rita Linda Ventura-Jimeno, vice dean of the Centro Escolar University School of Law and Jurisprudence.

Aquino appointed Reyes to the SC on Aug. 23, 2011. Before his appointment, Reyes was a CA justice. /atm

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TAGS: Bienvenido Reyes, Ilocos Six, judicial independence, Rodrigo Duterte, Supreme Court
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