Justice Buena Passes Away

February 13, 2020

Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Arturo Buena died today due to a lingering illness. He was 87.

He is survived by his wife, Virgith Balan-Buena, and children Susan, Arturo Jr., Benjamin, and Carlo, and grandchildren.

His remains lie in state at the Arlington Chapels in Araneta Avenue. The schedule of interment will be announced later.

A native of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, Justice Buena earned his pre-law and law degrees at the University of Santo Tomas. After passing the 1954 Bar Examinations with a grade of 89.55%, Justice Buena engaged in private practice. He first joined the public service in 1956 when he worked with the Department of Commerce.  He also worked as liaison officer in the Office of the Speaker at the House of Representatives and as Legal and Technical Assistant at the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET).

He also became an Assistant to then Justice Jose Bengzon in the turnover of the supervision of the lower courts to the SC. He also served as Acting Deputy Court Administrator, Deputy Court Administrator, and Acting Court Administrator. He was appointed to the Court of Appeals (CA) as an Associate Justice in 1986. On January 5, 1999, he was appointed to the High Court. He retired from the SC having reached the mandatory age of retirement on March 25, 2002.

During his stay at the High Court, he penned more than 200 significant decisions, including the landmark ruling of the Court En Banc on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) [G.R. Nos. 138570, 138572, 138587, 138680, 138698, promulgated on October 10, 2000).

Justice Buena was also a professor of law and taught at the University of Santo Tomas.