De Castro Named Supreme Court Justice

Article excerpt

Byline: REY G. PANALIGAN & DAVID CAGAHASTIAN

President Arroyo has appointed Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Cabinet Secretary Ricardo Saludo confirmed that De Castro's appointment took effect on Dec. 1, 2007 and received by the SC yesterday morning.

Justice De Castro replaced Justice Cancio C. Garcia who retired last Oct. 20 upon reaching the mandatory age of 70. Her appointment filled up the last post in the 15-member SC.

The new SC justice and newly appointed Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Conrado M. Vasquez Jr. will take their oaths of office at 9:30 this morning before Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno.

Justice De Castro has been in government service for 34 years with 24 years at the Department of Justice (DoJ) and 10 years in the judiciary.

She was appointed associate justice of the Sandiganbayan in 1997 and took over the post of presiding justice in 2005.

She finished her law course at the University of the Philippines in 1972. She was vice-chancellor of the College of Law's honor society and the Order of the Purple Feather from 1969 to 1972 and staff member of the Philippine Law Journal.

After passing the Bar examinations in 1973, Justice De Castro joined the SC and served as member of the technical staff of the late Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro until 1978.

Later, she transferred to the DoJ and became the department's chief state counsel until her appointment to the Sandiganbayan in 1997.

At the DoJ, Justice De Castro was a member of the 1988 government panel that reviewed the military bases' agreement with the United States, as well as legal adviser to the 1997 peace talks with the National Democratic Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.

In 1998 she was awarded by then President Fidel V. …