A UP alumna was recently appointed the newest justice of the Supreme Court, bringing the number of UP alumni currently sitting as justices in the highest court in the land to four.
Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang was appointed as the Supreme Court’s newest magistrate by President Rodrigo Duterte on November 26, although her appointment was confirmed on November 28. After being shortlisted as potential SC justice at least five times before, Carandang takes the seat vacated by Chief Justice Teresita De Castro (BAPolSci, ‘68cl; LLB’72) after she officially retired on October 10.
Carandang obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and her Bachelor of Laws degree from UP in 1971 and 1975, respectively. She graduated cum laude from the UP College of Law and was class salutatorian. She took the Bar that same year, and finished in ninth place with an average of 84.95 percent. She is also one of the founders of the Tau Gamma Sigma Sorority.
Carandang worked as technical assistant in the Commission on Audit in 1976. She then went into private practice and joined the private sector as legal assistant at the Aguiluz Law Office, legal counsel of Filinvest Development Corporation, and corporate secretary and legal counsel of Filinvest Land, Inc. She also worked for a time with the Perpetual Savings Bank and the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp.
She was appointed presiding judge of the Manila court in 1994, where she served for nine years until she was appointed to the appellate court in March 2003 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Aside from working in the judiciary, Carandang also taught law at the Philippine Christian University and the Manuel L. Quezon School of Law.
Carandang has stated her opinions on major issues decided on by the Supreme Court in her past interviews with the Judicial and Bar Council. She said that Congress should have convened to decide on martial law in Mindanao, and that granting bail to former senator Juan Ponce Enrile is not provided for in the Rules of Court. She also disagreed with the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani “on moral grounds,” adding however that there was no law against it.
She was also in support of the passage of the Reproductive Health law.
The 66-year-old Carandang, who hails from Taal, Batangas, will retire in January 2022. (Celeste Llaneta, UP MPRO)