Supreme Court Celebrates 99th Anniversary Today
Panaligan, Rey G., Manila Bulletin
The Supreme Court will mark its 99th anniversary on Sunday, but the celebration will be held today.
It also launches today the year-long celebration of its centenary on June 11, 2001.
Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. said the Supreme Court was founded on June 11, 1901, the day Act No. 136, the Judiciary Law, was passed by the Second Philippine Commission.
The law, he said, "vested the judicial power of the government of the Philippine Islands in the Supreme Court, courts of first instance, and justice of the peace courts, and such other courts as may be authorized by law."
Associate Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, chairman of the centenary executive committee, said that while General Order No. 20 issued on May 29, 1899, created a Supreme Court, "it was really nothing more than an extension of the military authority of the United States Army."
"Not only was Act No. 136 approved by a civil government; it also established an independent judiciary hierarchy, with the Supreme Court at its apex," Panganiban said.
Actually, the 99th anniversary celebration started yesterday with games, a raffle, and contests among employes.
This morning, there will be a parade of colors, followed by a mass and the blessing of the new SC building at the corner of Taft Avenue and Padre Faura Street in Ermita, Manila.
After lunch, the High Court formally launches its year-long celebration. Justice Panganiban will give an overview of the year-long activities.
Among the projects and activities lined up for the year are:
Monthly lectures on various aspects of law and life, with invited lecturers from the United States and other foreign Supreme Courts. The lecture serieswill start on July 11 with former Chief Justice Andres R. Narvasa speaking on "The Chief Justices and Their Contributions to Philippine History."
Debates, essay, oratorical, and other literary and speech contests among law students.
Mock trial courts involving interesting current issues.
Various coffee-table books on the history of the Supreme Court or that highlight decisions with literary value.
Radio, television, and cinema features on the judiciary.
Journalism awards for outstanding legal articles. …