"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Monday, December 03, 2007

On De Castro Appointment to the Supreme Court

A JUSTICE in the plunder case against former President Joseph Estrada was appointed to the Supreme Court on Monday.

Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, the Sandiganbayan presiding justice and chairman of the Special Division that heard the Estrada case, confirmed the appointment, but she denied it is a reward for the conviction of Estrada.

De Castro believes she got the job because of merit and her qualification, she told The Manila Times, adding, “It is the grace of God.”

Legal career

De Castro graduated cum laude with a degree in political science at the University of the Philippines in 1968. She took up law, also at UP, graduating in 1972.

She worked as a legal and judicial assistant at the Supreme Court from 1973 to 1978. Afterwards she joined the Department of Justice as state counsel in 1978 and stayed until 1995, eventually becoming assistant chief state counsel.

She was promoted to the Sandiganbayan in 1995 by then-President Ramos. She became presiding justice of the antigraft court in December 2004.


Sen. Richard Gordon welcomed de Castro’s appointment. “She is highly qualified. She is independent and very intelligent.”

Gordon said de Castro had a lot of experience, and the senator finds her independent-minded and tough. “I named her to the board of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority because she is capable of making me go straight,” he said, referring to the time when he was chairman of the free port.

He added that he does not believe that de Castro’s appointment is a reward for Estrada’s guilty conviction. “President Arroyo pardoned Erap despite [de Castro’s] decision, so it is not a reward,” Gordon said, referring to Estrada by his


Justice in Estrada trial appointed
to Supreme Court

By Jomar Canlas, Reporter