Brief Overview

The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or, in its discretion, in divisions of three, five, or seven members. (Art. VIII, §4) Its members shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy, without need of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. (Art. VIII, §9) Members of the Supreme Court are required to have proven competence, integrity, probity and independence; they must be natural-born citizens of the Philippines, at least forty years old, with at least fifteen years of experience as a judge of a lower court or law practice in the country. (Art. VIII, §7) Justices shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy years, or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of office. (Art. VIII, §11)

THE MEMBERS OF THE COURT

The Chief Justice
Hon. LUCAS P. BERSAMIN

The Senior Associate Justice
Hon. ANTONIO T. CARPIO

The Associate Justices
Hon. DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
Hon. ESTELA M. PERLAS-BERNABE
Hon. MARVIC M. V. F. LEONEN
Hon. FRANCIS H. JARDELEZA
Hon. ALFREDO BENJAMIN S. CAGUIOA
Hon. ANDRES B. REYES, JR.
Hon. ALEXANDER G. GESMUNDO
Hon. JOSE C. REYES, JR.
Hon. RAMON PAUL L. HERNANDO
Hon. ROSMARI D. CARANDANG
Hon. AMY C. LAZARO-JAVIER
Hon. HENRI JEAN PAUL B. INTING

Administrative Officers

Clerk of Court En Banc
Atty. Edgar O. Aricheta

Deputy Clerk of Court En Banc
Atty. Anna-Li R. Papa-Gombio

First Division Clerk of Court
Atty. Librada C. Buena

Second Division Clerk of Court
Atty. Ma. Lourdes C. Perfecto

Third Division Clerk of Court
Atty. Wilfredo V. Lapitan

Office of Administrative Services
Atty. Maria Carina M. Cunanan, Chief

Fiscal Management and Budget Office
Atty. Corazon G. Ferrer-Flores, Chief

Chief Attorney
Atty. Maria Victoria Gleoresty Sp. Guerra, Chief

Office of the Reporter
Atty. Edna B. Camba, Chief

Management Information Systems Office 
Mr. Joselito N. Enriquez, Officer-in-Charge

Bar Confidant
Atty. Ma. Cristina B. Layusa, Chief

Judicial Records Office
Atty. Basilia T. Ringol, Chief

Library Services
Atty. Joyce Jazmin G. Dimaisip-Cunanan, Acting SC Senior Chief Staff Officer

Public Information Office
Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka, Chief

Program Management Office
Atty. Laura C.H. Del Rosario, Judicial Reform Program Administrator 

Judicial Power and Jurisdiction

Under Article VIII, §1, the judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be provided by law. This power includes the duty to settle actual controversies involving rights that are legally demandable and enforceable and to determine if any branch or instrumentality of government has acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of excess of jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court has both original and appellate jurisdiction. It exercises original jurisdiction (cases are directly filed with the SC in the first instance without passing through any of the lower courts) over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus. (Art. VIII, §5(1)). It also has original jurisdiction over writs of amparo, habeas data and the environmental writ of kalikasan. It exercises appellate jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm final judgments, and orders of the lower courts in:

(a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question.
(b) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto.
(c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue.
(d) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.
(e) All cases in which only an error or question of law is involved. (Art. VIII, §5(1), (2))

The Supreme Court has administrative supervision over all courts and court personnel. (Article VIII, §6) It exercises this power through the Office of the Court Administrator.

Rule-making Powers

The Supreme Court has the exclusive power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. Any such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court. (Art. VIII, §54(5))