The Supreme Court (SC) has revamped the membership in its three divisions with five justices each following President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh as its 15th magistrate.
With the reorganization, which took effect on May 19 the SC’s First Division is headed by Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo as chairperson, Associate Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando as working chairperson, and Associate Justices Rodil V. Zalamadea, Ricardo R. Rosario, and Jose Midas P. Marquez as members.
The Court’s Second Division is led by Senior Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen as chairperson with Associate Justices Amy C. Lazaro Javier, Mario V. Lopez, Jhosep Y. Lopez, and Antonio T. Kho Jr. as members.
Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa is the chairperson of the Third Division with Associate Justices Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, Samuel H. Gaerlan, Japar B. Dimaampao and Singh as members.
The re-organization was contained in a special order issued by Senior Associate Justice Leonen as acting chief justice. Chief Justice Gesmundo is on wellness leave until May 30.
The SC divisions hold sessions Mondays and Wednesdays. As a full court, the SC holds sessions every Tuesday. But division or full court sessions may be called any day of the week to deliberate on urgent cases.
It is expected that there would be no changes in the division memberships until June 4, 2025 when Justice Mario V. Lopez mandatorily retires at age 70.
In many previous cases, some justices—not only in the SC but also in the appellate courts—opted to retire early or forced to relinquish their posts due to disabilities or other reasons.