Jose Reyes Jr. takes the seat vacated by former Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. who retired from the Supreme Court earlier this week.
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CA Justice Reyes is Duterte's 5th appointee to SC
Kristine Joy Patag ( - August 10, 2018 - 2:42pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Court of Appeals Justice Jose Reyes Jr. to be the next Supreme Court associate justice.

Reyes, Duterte’s fifth appointee to the high court, will take his oath on Monday, August 13, according to Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go said.

Reyes takes the seat vacated by former Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. who retired from the SC earlier this week.

The CA justice is a fellow San Beda graduate of Duterte. He was appointed to the appellate court in 2003.

JBC interview

Reyes faced the Judicial and Bar Council in November 2017.

He was asked to weigh in on Duterte’s declaration of martial law over the Mindanao region. He said: "The president must have been in possession of sufficient factual basis because facts that ordinary individuals like us may not be in possession. For now I think we have to rely on what the president has done." 

On marriage annulment, the CA justice said that he has encountered several family disputes and declaration of nullity of marriage and legal separation. “I just rely on the facts of the case,” he added.

Sunvar ruling

The CA justice penned the ruling that paved the way for the Sunvar Realty, owned by the Rufino and Prieto families to vacate the Mile Long Property in Makati City.

The Rufino and Prieto families also own the Philippine Daily Inquirer, that has long been received Duterte’s ire for its alleged biased reporting.

In 2016, the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 59 issued a temporary restraining order that stopped the eviction of Sunvar. The CA, however, ruled that the lower court had no jurisdiction over the case.

Reyes penned the ruling that junked the motion for partial reconsideration filed by Sunvar, owned by the Prieto-Reyes clan, to overturn the CA’s decision.

Trillanes’ bribery allegation

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has earlier accused Reyes and another CA justice of receiving P50-million over the case involving the preventive suspension of then-Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Reyes penned the CA ruling that stopped Binay’s suspension by issuing a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction last year.

The Supreme Court, however, upheld the appellate court’s TRO in a ruling in November 2015.

Facing the JBC panel in January 2016, Reyes addressed the issue. He said: “With the SC decision, we felt vindicated because no less than the high court said that writ of preliminary injunction we issued was correct.”

He said that Trillanes’ accusation was a “serious and unfounded allegation,” but that he kept his silence since his “conscience is clear.”

READ: CA justice debunks P50-M bribery rap in Junjun case

Duterte’s SC appointees

After Reyes takes his oath, Duterte will appoint the next chief justice, and two more justices to take over the seats of Ombudsman Samuel Martires and Associate Justice Teresita De Castro who will retire from the SC on October.

The Judicial and Bar Council will hold a public interview of the five vying for the chief justice post on August 16.

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