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Judges, court employees back Marquez for SC post

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Judges and court employees in the country on Tuesday gave their endorsement to the nomination of Court Administrator Midas Marquez for associate justice in the Supreme Court.

In separate letters sent to the Judicial and Bar Council, three major organization of judges in the country —Philippine Judges Association, Philippine Trial Judges League and Metropolitan and City Judges Association of the Philippines—backed the appointment of Marquez to the 15-member bench.

The Philippine Association of Court Employees also submitted a similar letter to the JBC, backing the appointment of Marquez as successor of Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. who is retiring in August.

The PJA cited the “integrity, competence, work ethic and dedication to the judiciary” of Marquez as his qualifications to become a member of the Court in place of Velasco, who himself was a court administrator before being appointed as justice.

“He is firm, courageous, loyal to the institution, and truly a man of principles, who works hard for the intersect and welfare of judges. More, as a person, he is humble, but strong in character. He is approachable but firm and uncompromising in his decision. His exemplary performance, dedication to service and commitment to work, as well as in all his undertakings, are qualities that placed him above the rest,” said the PJA led by Caloocan City Regional Trial Court Judge Georgina Hidalgo, who was recently appointed as Sandiganbayan associate justice.

The judges’ group said that Marquez brought about significant innovations and reforms in the dispensation of justice in the first and second level courts.

The PTJL cited Marquez’ “reputation for being apolitical and for having a deeply ingrained sense of moral uprightness befitting the other constitutional-required traits of independence and integrity.”

MetCJAP added that the appointment of Marquez as a justice would “ensure the continuity and realization of all the projects and efforts to maintain and uphold excellent judicial service.”

For its part, PACE believes that the court administrator “will be an effective pillar of the judiciary dispensing justice with wisdom and with a heart” just like Velasco.

The group’s endorsement was signed by their national president lawyer Maria Fe Maloloy-on.

The JBC has shortlisted Marquez for the SC post to be vacated by the retirement of Velasco in August after he obtained six votes.

The others in the shortlist are Court of Appeals Associate Justices Jose Reyes Jr., Amy Lazaro-Javier, Ramon Garcia, Associate Justices Apolinario Bruselas, Rosmari Carandang and Ramon Hernando; and former Ateneo law school dean Cesar Villanueva.

Marquez was one of those who testified in the impeachment cases against Sereno in the House of Representatives, along with several justices of the high court.

Marquez started his career in the SC in 1991 as a law clerk for several justices, including retired Associate Justice Abraham Sarmiento, Senior Justice and former Philippine Judicial Academy chancellor Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera, and retired Senior Justice Josue Bellosillo, and rose from the ranks and appointed court administrator in 2010.

He rose from the ranks before being appointed by the SC justices as court administrator in 2010.

Court administrators are historically appointed to the SC as a matter of career path. The predecessors of Marquez – Josue Belosillo, Presbitero Velasco Jr. and Jose Perez – had been promoted to the high tribunal.

Marquez became prominent after serving as spokesman of the Court during the tenures of retired chief justice Reynato Puno and Corona.

The SC official then became deputy secretary of the Senate Electoral Tribunal detailed at the office of the chairman under Justices Bellosillo in 1999 and Puno in 2003.

He was also named director of the SC-United Nations Development Program Project on Technical Assistance to the Philippine Judiciary from 1998 to 2000.

Marquez finished both his degree in Economics and juris doctor degree at the Ateneo de Manila University.


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