Thursday, 21 June 2012 00:00
The most senior lady justice of the Supreme Court (SC) and a possible "first lady chief justice" of the Philippines was elected president of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) with a term beginning May 2012 to 2014.
The IAWJ was formed in 1991 and has a membership of more than 4,000 from all judicial levels across the world.
Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, the only lady justice who was automatically nominated for the position of Chief Justice, was also named as the top lady jurist in an organization of 103 member-nations across five regions worldwide.
De Castro, the 160th Justice of the SC, is also the current president of the Philippine Women Judges Association (PWJA).
She is the third most senior SC Justice next to Associate Justices Antonio Carpio and Presbitero Velasco, Jr.
De Castro is the current chairperson of the SC 3rd Division.
A career official who rose from the ranks, De Castro is now on her 39th year in government service starting her career in the SC as ordinary lawyer until she transferred to the Executive Department.
De Castro has served the government from the time of President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Corazon "Cory" C. Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph "Erap" Ejercito-Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" S. Aquino III.
She has served the Department of Justice (DOJ) as State Counsel until she got the position of Assistant Chief State Counsel.
Afterwards, De Castro was appointed by President Ramos as Associate Justice of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.
Later on, De Castro became the Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan who tried and convicted of plunder President Estrada.
De Castro was appointed as Associate Justice of the SC on Dec. 3, 2007.
De Castro is a graduate of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law. Afterwards, she studied at the International Law Institute in Washington D.C., United States and Harvard Law School's Program of Instruction of Lawyers in Massachusetts in the United States.
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