MANILA -- President Duterte has appointed Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Jose Reyes, Jr. as the newest magistrate of the Supreme Court (SC), an aide said Friday.
Reyes will be filling up the vacancy after SC Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, Jr. retired on August 8, according to Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go.
Reyes will take his oath on Monday, Go said.
Reyes studied law at San Beda College, the alma mater of the president.
He is currently the fourth most-senior justice at the Court of Appeals.
Reyes is Duterte's fifth appointment to the 15-member Supreme Court after assuming the presidency in mid-2016.
Prior to his appointment to the CA in 2003, Reyes served as Pasig City Metropolitan Trial Court and Rizal Regional Trial Court.
Reyes penned the CA decision that led the Prieto-Rufino families to vacate the Mile Long property in Makati City in favor of government.
Duterte had accused the Prieto-Rufino clan, also majority stakeholders in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, of tax evasion and non-payment of rentals.
Reyes and another CA magistrate, Francisco Acosta, was accused in 2015 by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of receiving P25-million each in exchange for issuing a halt order on the implementation of the first preventive suspension order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman against former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay over the Makati parking building controversy.
The CA held Trillanes in indirect contempt of court for the allegation and fined him P30,000.
Reyes applied for the Supreme Court in 2012 for the vacancy brought about by the appointment of then-Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice, but was beaten to the post by UP law Prof. Marvic Leonen.
He again applied in 2014 for the post vacated by Associate Justice Roberto Abad, who retired upon reaching mandatory age of retirement (70), but then-Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza bagged the appointment.
Reyes bested the following short-listed candidates::
- CA Associate Justice Amy Lazaro Javier;
- CA Associate Justice Ramon Garcia;
- CA Associate Justice Apolinario Bruselas;
- CA Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang;
- CA Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando;
- Court Administrator Midas Marquez;
- former Ateneo Law School dean Cesar Villanueva.
Watch his previous interview before the Judicial and Bar Council:
-- with a report from Dexter Ganibe, DZMM