Changing faces of the Supreme Court
Article 8, Section 11 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states that “the Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall hold office during good behavior until they reached the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office.”
Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is the most senior among the justices based on the date of appointment to the High Court. He was appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Oct. 26, 2001. If he will be appointed next chief justice, Carpio will hold the position for roughly a year until he retires on Oct. 26, 2019.
Aside from Carpio, four other associate justices are set to retire in 2019: Associate Justices Noel G. Tijam, Mariano C. Del Castillo, Francis H. Jardeleza, and Lucas P. Bersamin. Another two will retire in 2020: Andres B. Reyes Jr., and Jose Calayag Reyes Jr.
Out of the 13 sitting justices of the Supreme Court, four were appointed to the High Court by Arroyo, four by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, and five by President Rodrigo Duterte (not including his appointment of De Castro as chief justice).
De Castro’s retirement will bring the vacant seats in the Supreme Court to two (as of Oct. 12). President Duterte will appoint two more justices this year and another five in 2019 such that by the end of 2019, 11 Supreme Court justices will be Duterte appointees.
By the end of President Duterte’s term on June 30, 2022, there will be 13 Duterte appointees to the Supreme Court while two appointees of President Benigno Aquino III will remain: Associate Justices Benjamin S. Caguioa and Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen.