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Chief Justice of the Supreme Court - Roles, Functions and Biographies

He discharges functions as head of the Highest Court and performs other functions prescribed in other provisions of the Constitution and existing laws.

He presides over sessions of the Supreme Court en banc and one of the three divisions. He issues certificates to attest that "all cases elevated to the Supreme Court have been decided by it with the concurrence of a majority of the members who actively look part in the deliberation," and that the conclusion of the Supreme Court in all cases submitted to it for decision whether en banc or in division have been reached in consultation before the case is assigned to a member for the writing of the opinion of the Court.

As the administrative supervisor, the Supreme Court formulates administrative policies from the planning to funding for the lower courts. It submits, through the Chief Justice, an annual performance report of the Judiciary to Congress and budget proposals to the President through the Department of Budget and Management before the opening of Congress.

For better control and utilization of funds, the Constitution mandates that the Court's appropriation be automatically released by the Department of Budget and Management and that Congress cannot reduce the appropriations of the judiciary below the amount appropriated for the previous year. Further, he has the power to transfer savings from appropriations to augment other items in the General Appropriations authorized for the operations of the Judiciary. It enjoys fiscal autonomy.


  • Appoints the officials and employees of the Supreme Court. He is ex-officio Chairman of the Judicial and Bar Council, which office recommends for appointment qualified candidates to vacancies for justices and judges in courts.
  • He is the head of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, which is the sole judge of the election, returns and qualifications of the President and Vice-President of the Philippines.
  • He is also vested with the authority to designate justice-members of the Senate Electoral and House Electoral Tribunals. The most senior justice designated in each Tribunal acts as Chairman. The Tribunals review the election protest against Senators and Representatives.
  • He is vested with authority to preside in impeachment proceedings when the President of the Philippines is on trial. However, he does not have the power to vote in the final judgement of such impeachment proceedings.
  • He is called upon to administer the oath of office to an incoming President of the country, a practice that had been handed down from Chief Justice Arellano who administered the oaths of office to the American governors general.
  • Together with justices, he attends the opening ceremonies of regular sessions of Congress to hear the State-of-the-Nation Address of the President. Being fifth highest national official, he attends official functions in Malacanang and Congress.

Qualifications, Tenure and Privileges

Since no specific provisions in the Constitution or in any existing laws prescribe the qualifications for the Chief Justice, those prescribed for the members of the Supreme Court and the intermediate appellate courts are applicable to him.

He receives a monthly salary authorized for his position which is currently classified as salary Grade 32 and such allowances as may be authorized from time to time. As head of the Judiciary, he is entitled to a discretionary fund to spend in connection with his office.

He is entitled to 60 days leave of absence for every year of service and retirement benefits authorized for the Justices under special laws.

The leave of absence constitutes one month forfeitable leave and one month cumulative leave, the money value of the latter is payable upon retirement or separation. For retirement, he is entitled to a lump-sum benefit equivalent to five year salary and a monthly pension after the fifth year of retirement for as long as he lives. Both benefits are gevity pay, representation and transportation allowance, and whatever other allowance that be authorized from time to time while in service.

The Philippine's Supreme Court Chief Justice is required by law to file a statement of assets and liabilities upon assumption of office.

The position of the Philippines' Chief Justice is very sensitive but most prestigious. The Chief Justice is looked up upon the epitome of integrity and justice. It serves no majority or minority but public interest. It is therefore the Chief Justice's sacred duty to uphold the Constitution and preserved public confidence and faith in the Courts.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

Biographies of the Chief Justices

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# Article Title Author Hits
1 Reynato Puno | Biography Administrator 443
2 Artemio Panganiban | Biography Administrator 420
3 Hilario Davide | Biography Administrator 401
4 Andres Narvasa | Biography Administrator 585
5 Marcelo Fernan | Biography Administrator 435
6 Pedro Yap | Biography Administrator 345
7 Claudio Teehankee Administrator 349
8 Ramon Aquino Administrator 363
9 Felix Makasiar | Biography Administrator 365
10 Enrique M. Fernando | Biography Administrator 466
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