Posted by: nupl | September 19, 2009

NUPL congratulates its member Judge Cleto Villacorta III, an awardee of 2009 Judicial Excellence Awards

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) congratulates its member Judge Cleto Villacorta III (Baguio City, Metropolitan Trial Circuit Court, Branch II) for having been named one of the six trial court judges in the Philippines honored by the Supreme Court in the 2009 Judicial Excellence Awards last September 18, 2009.

Judge Villacorta was introduced as someone who has lawyered for cause-oriented groups prior to becoming a member of the judiciary. He is an active member of the NUPL, and has contributed his legal acumen in analyzing the Rule on the Writ of Amparo and in the study of petitions praying for the issuance of such writ.

The following article appeared on the September 15, 2009 on-line issue of Manila Bulletin:

6 judges hailed for judicial excellence

September 15, 2009, 7:53pm

Six trial court judges and two clerks of court have been named 2009 judicial excellence awardees by the Supreme Court (SC) in collaboration with the Society for Judicial Excellence (SJE).

The awardees are Judge Myra V. Garcia-Fernandez of Manila regional trial court, Branch 18, Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano Award; Judge Jose Godofredo M. Naui of Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya RTC, Branch 37, Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos Award; and Judge Jaime Estanislao Contreras of Naga City RTC, Branch 25, Chief Justice Ramon Avanceña Award.

The other awardees are Judge Marie Yvetta Dedel-Go of Iloilo municipal trial court in cities (MTCC), Branch 4, Don Antonio P. Madrigal Award; Judge Cleto R. Villacorta III of Baguio City MTCC, Branch 2; and Judge Sisinio C. Virtudazo of Tagbilaran City MTCC, Branch 1.

The outstanding clerks of court are Atty. Marivic S. Tibayan, Pasay City, RTC, Atty. Luzviminda Delgado Puno Award for Multiple Sala; and Atty. Remiebel U. Mondia, Pasay City RTC, Branch 118 for Single Sala.

Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno said the awardees will be honored at 3 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 18, in ceremonies at the SC’s Session Hall on Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila.

The SJE, through its Board of Trustees, administers the annual search for outstanding judges and clerks of court. It is headed by retired SC Justice Bernardo P. Pardo as Chairperson, retired SC Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez as Chairperson Emeritus, and Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Portia Aliño-Hormachuelos, as Vice-Chairperson. Its members include SC Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, retired SC Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr., CA Justices Edgardo P. Cruz, Josefina Guevara-Salonga, Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr., and Sixto C. Marella, Jr., retired Court Administrator Zenaida N. Elepaño, retired CA Justices Godardo A. Jacinto and Jose C. de la Rama, Judges Oscar C. Herrera, Jr. and Kaudri L. Jainul, retired Judge Rosalina Luna Pison, and Atty. Engracio M. Escasinas, Jr. Judge Emily L. San Gaspar-Gito is secretary, while Atty. Ma. Luisa L. Laurea is executive director and also head of the JEA Secretariat.

The final selection of awardees was undertaken by the Board of Judges composed of SC Justice Antonio T. Carpio, Justice Diosdado M. Peralta, Justice Pardo, Justice Gutierrez, retired SC Justice Carolina Griño-Aquino, retired SC Justice Santiago M. Kapunan, CA Presiding Justice Conrado M. Vasquez, Jr., Dean Amado L. Dimayuga of the Judicial and Bar Council, and Dean Cesar L. Villanueva of the Ateneo Law School.

Judge Fernandez is not a first-time JEA winner, having been hailed Best Pre-Trial Judge for Metropolitan Trial Court (METC) in 2003 and Outstanding MeTC Judge in 2004. She also garnered the Special Award for Best Decision in a Civil Case, also in 2004. She started as a private practitioner and later joined the Supreme Court, which eventually paved the way for her promotion as Judge of Manila Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), Branch 10 in 2000. She was later promoted to Manila RTC, Branch 18.

She finished her Bachelor in Arts, Philosophy and Bachelor of Laws, graduating cum laude in both, at the University of Santo Tomas.

Judge Naui was conferred the Judicial Achievement Award by the Philippine Judges Association in 2008. He is an Assistant Professor at Saint Mary’s University, College of Law and authored books including Notebook in Criminal and Civil Procedure, Quick Index of Supreme Court Cases in Remedial Law, and Case Review Questions in Civil Procedure. He earned his degree at the then Baguio Colleges Foundation (now University of the Cordilleras), graduating cum laude.

Judge Contreras was awarded Most Outstanding Judge of the Philippines by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption in 2004. He obtained his Law degree at the University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City. He joined the judiciary immediately after successfully hurdling the 1983 bar examinations.


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