Ruben: Final Answer?

The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that, “President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has appointed Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Ruben Reyes to the vacant slot in the Supreme Court, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said Wednesday night in a text message.” Technology and politics huh? Not bad.

Who is Ruben anyway? According to the Court of Appeals website:

Presiding Justice RUBEN T. REYES studied law as a working student, scholar, law council president and law editor. A 1962 alumnus of MLQ University, he has taken 8 summer courses in U.S., including the 1st Harvard Law School Workshop for Law Teachers and Scholars, Academy of American and International Law, Appellate Judges Seminar, California Judicial College and National Judicial College. After a ten-year law practice, he was named Assistant Fiscal of Manila winning the 1981 Best Resolution Contest. He became RTC Judge first in Bataan, then in Manila, where he was Outstanding RTC Judge awardee and RTC Judges Association president. He edited the Phil. Judges Assn. Newsletter and Bench Bulletin.

Promoted to the Court of Appeals in March, 1994, he is now its Presiding Justice since December 23, 2005. Former chairman-editor of CA Journal, he was four-time nominee to the Supreme Court. He is president of Philippine Association of Law Professors, trustee and lecturer of Phil. Judicial Academy, 2002 Bar Examiner in Legal Ethics, author of Bar Reviewer on Special Penal Laws, MCLE lecturer on substantive and procedural law, legal writing, ethics and law reforms; co-chair, Supreme Court sub-committee on MCLE Draft Rules; member, SC committee on legal education and bar matters and resource person in criminal and remedial laws, UP Law Center.
Recognitions for him include the CUP Outstanding Justice of the Court of Appeals, Bulacan Dangal ng Lipi, YMCA Presidential awards, two Supreme Court awards on judicial reforms and over a dozen citations as Presiding Justice. He leads by example with a zero backlog and a vision of “A Court of Appeals that is righteous and reasonable in its decisions and resolutions, responsible and responsive to the challenge of judicial service.”Born in 1939 in Hagonoy, Bulacan, he is married to Atty. Ellie Cruz-Reyes of Baliuag. They have four children, whose initials spell WRIT: Pastor Winston, Dr. Roselin, IT Consultant Jason Immanuel and lawyer Tammy Ann.

Nonetheless, the appointment is not yet official.  Let us just hope that this advance announcement, reliable or not, will not prejudice Ruben his plight to be the next Arroyo-appointed SC Associate Justice.

Lastly, the Inquirer points that there seems to be a problem with Ruben’s appointment.  Because under Rules of the Judicial and Bar Council, “career applicants who may not be able to serve for at least one and a half years before reaching the age of retirement may not be considered for nomination.”  Ruben was born on 03 January 1939.  He will turn 70 on 03 January 2009, which is days short of the minimum 1 and 1/2 years service requirement. 

To spice up the story, it is worthy to note that the said minimum service requirement is not mandated by the Constitution.  So, if ever Ruben’s appointment pushes through, this might become another legal controversy in the upper echelon, big deal and bigtime!


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