Past President Hon. Teresita Leonardo de Castro
Supreme Court of the Philippines
Manila, the Philippines
Justice De Castro was appointed to the Supreme Court on December 1, 2007. She is an alumna of the University of the Philippines College of Law where she earned a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in 1968 and Bachelor of Law in 1972 in the top four of her class. She was the Vice-Chancellor and a consistent member of the UP College of Law honor society, the Order of the Purple Feather, from 1969 to 1972, and a staff member of the Philippine Law Journal. She was elected to lifetime membership in Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society and Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in Social Sciences. She attended law courses in the International Law Institute in Washington D.C., USA and Harvard Law School’s Program of Instruction of Lawyers in Massachusetts, USA.
Justice De Castro’s career in public service spans 36 years and began on February 19, 1973 when she passed a law clerk examination administered by the Supreme Court to the top 20 recent law graduates. From January 1975 to November 1978, she served first as a law clerk and later as a Legal/Judicial Assistant and as a member of the technical staff of the late Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro. In December 1978, she transferred to the Department of Justice (DOJ), where she rose from the ranks, culminating in her appointment in 1997 as Assistant Chief State Counsel. In 1998, for her outstanding role as legal adviser of the government panel which contributed to peace in Southern Philippines, she was awarded by then President Fidel V. Ramos with the Presidential Medal of Merit. Justice De Castro rejoined the Judiciary as Sandiganbayan Associate Justice on September 23, 1997 and became its Presiding Justice on December 15, 2004. During her incumbency, she spearheaded the establishment of the Computerized Court Management System, the first in the Philippine Judiciary, and the adoption of reforms that contributed to easing the court docket in Sandiganbayan. She is now a member of the First Division of the Supreme Court.