Justice delos Santos was among one of 13 names submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who appointed him to the country’s highest court on December 3, 2019. Justice delos Santos was sworn into office on December 6, 2019 as the 186th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta at the En Banc Session Hall.
Earning his Bachelor of Arts major in Political Science and Bachelor of Laws from the University of San Carlos, Justice delos Santos passed the Bar in 1977 and worked as a court legal researcher in the Court of First Instance in Manila. He later transferred to the Supreme Court as a technical assistant and then as a court confidential attorney.
He served for 40 years in the judiciary before his appointment to the Supreme Court. He was appointed as Municipal Trial Court Judge at the age of 30, becoming a Presiding Judge in Dumaguete City, and eventually was appointed as an Executive Judge. It was in Dumaguete that he would become known as the “habal-habal Judge” since he would drive himself to court on his motorcycle.
He became a Regional Trial Court Judge in Bacolod City, where he served for 16 years. Elevated to the Court of Appeals in 2008 where he served for more than 10 years, he eventually became Executive Judge of the Court’s Visayas/Cebu Station, succeeding another Carolinian namely Associate Justice Gabriel T. Ingles.
Justice delos Santos was nominated twice for the Judicial Excellence Award in 2006 and 2007, was awarded as one of the Outstanding Carolinian Alumnus for Judicial Service in 2008, and awarded the Ulirang Ama Sectoral Award for Law and Judiciary in 2016.
Born on Independence Day in Palompon, Leyte to Francisco delos Santos, a fisherman, and Basilisa Lao, a dressmaker, he finished elementary school at the Palompon Community School and his high school at the Northern Leyte Academy. He was awarded the Outstanding Palomponganon Award in 2009.
Contributed by the Office of Alumni Affairs and the Office of the University Registrar
Tags: Announcement, Alumni