MANILA� Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza officially retired from the service as he turned 70 on Sunday.
After passing the 1971 Bar examinations, Mendoza first served as a legal officer of the Philippine Banking Corporation, the Manila Electric Co. and the Gokongwei Group of Companies.
He joined the judiciary as Research Attorney in the Court of Appeals in 1977 before being promoted as judge and later as CA justice.
Mendoza was honored by fellow justices and colleagues in the SC during flag-raising ceremony last Monday.
Mendoza penned the SC ruling in April 2014 that upheld key provisions of Republic Act No. 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act.
The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has already submitted to the President last month its shortlist for replacement of Mendoza.
Included in the shortlist were Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justices Jaapar Dimaampao, Jose Reyes, Apolinario Bruselas, Ramon Hernando, Rosmari Carandang and Amy Lazaro Javier, and Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo.
Former CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes, who was also among the nominees for the said vacancy, was earlier appointed to the SC, replacing retired Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes.
The former CA Presiding Justice is President Duterte's third appointee to the SC. The President has earlier appointed then Sandiganbayan Associate Justices Noel Tijam and Samuel Martires to the high court.
President Duterte has 90 days to name Mendoza's replacement in the high court.
The JBC is constitutionally mandated to screen and vet nominees to the President for vacant posts in the judiciary and the Offices of the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman.
The council is chaired by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal-Sereno, with ex-officio members, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, along with the legislative branch namely Sen. Richard Gordon and Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali, who shall have a term sharing seat in the JBC.
Source: Philippine News Agency