The Supreme Court (SC) has once again reorganized its three divisions in light of the appointment of Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro.
The new reorganization has superseded the August 14 reorganization and designation of division chairmanships and memberships ordered by then Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio following the retirements of Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, Jr., then second most senior magistrate, and Associate Justice Samuel Martires who was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the new Ombudsman.
De Castro now chairs the First Division, with Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, 4th most senior, as working chairperson.
The First Division’s members are Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo, Francis Jardeleza, and Noel Tijam.
Carpio retains his designation as chairperson of the Second Division, with members Associate Justices Estela M. Perlas Bernabe, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, Andres Reyes, Jr., and Jose Reyes, Jr.
The Third Division is now chaired by Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, 3rd most senior, with Associate Justices Marvic Leonen, Alexander Gesmundo, Andres Reyes, Jr., and Jose Reyes, Jr. as members.
The two Reyeses are the ‘swing’ justices to complete the 5-membership requirement, for voting purposes, for each division in light of the current two vacancies.
In the August 14 reorganization, Peralta, Carpio, and De Castro chaired the First, Second, and Third Divisions, respectively.
The members of the divisions then, are as follows:
First Division: Del Castillo, Jardeleza, Tijam, Gesmundo
Second Division: Bernabe, Caguioa, Reyes, Jr., and Reyes, Jr.
Third Division: Bersamin, Leonen, Gesmundo, and Andres Reyes, Jr.
The high court is expected to reorganize the divisions anew when De Castro hangs her robe on October 8th upon reaching the mandatory age of retirement of 70 in the judiciary.