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Justice Noel G. Tijam was born on January 5, 1949 in San Miguel, Manila. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from San Beda College in 1967, with a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Majors in Philosophy and Political Science. At the young age of 20, while earning his Bachelor of Laws degree on full scholarship, he was already a lecturer at the Philippine School of Business Administration. In 1971, he graduated Cum Laude and Class Salutatorian from the San Beda College of Law. He passed the Bar Examinations of 1971 at age 22.
He was a Legal Consultant at the Philippine Senate representing Senator Victor Ziga in the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, the Senate Economic Affairs Committee, the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges. He was Assistant Vice President and Deputy Corporate Secretary of the GSIS, and became Legal Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Manila Hotel Corporation and the Westin Philippine Plaza, and a Board Director of Comsavings Bank.
In 1994, he was appointed Presiding Judge of the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 221. He served as President of the Quezon City RTC Judges Association. He was a finalist in the most outstanding Regional Trial Court Judges Award in 1999 given by the Foundation for Judicial Excellence. He was a recipient of the Most Outstanding JAYCEE Award from the Philippine Jaycees, and of the 1997 Junior Chamber International Senatorship Award. One of his distinct recognition, given on October 20, 2007 by the JCI Senate Philippines, is a Golden Award as Most Outstanding JCI Senator in the Philippines in the Field of Law. He bagged the Ulirang Ama Award by the Ulirang Ina/Ama Foundation National Chapter for the year 2008.
In 2003, he was promoted to the Court of Appeals. He was designated Chairperson-Editor in Chief of the Court of Appeals Journal while serving, at the same time, as member of the Committee on Rules which studies the amendments to and revisions of the Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals (IRCA).
He was a member of the sub-committee on the Revision of the Rules on Special Proceedings, and the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Task Force on Information and Wallsheets, both created by the Supreme Court.
He represented the Court of Appeals at the World Jurist Conference on economic development, alternative dispute resolution and democracy-building, in Kiev, Ukraine, in September 2004.
He was one of the 12 Justices of the Court of Appeals invited to participate in the 2007 National Consultative Summit on Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances convened by the Supreme Court. He presented the report of Group 5 in the plenary session.
He is a Professorial Lecturer II, at the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), Supreme Court, assigned to the Remedial Law Department. He lectures on the subjects Pre-trial and Trial Skills, Searches & Seizures, Legal Ethics, Oral Advocacy, Legal Writing and Remedial Law, in various seminars organized by the PHILJA, the U.P. Law Center, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and several law firms under their Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Program (MCLE). Once, he was invited by a group of lawyers based in San Francisco, California, USA, to give a lecture in the MCLE conducted by the IBP (California Chapter) in San Francisco, California, USA. His exceptional knowledge in Legal Ethics made him the best choice as the examiner in the 2009 Bar Examination conducted by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. During the 2016 Bar Examinations, where the unprecedented number of examiners passed the bar, he was chosen as the examiner for Remedial Law.
For his known skill and zeal as an effective and competent speaker, he has been consistently invited to speak on various topics by a number of organizations and associations. He was a Resource Speaker in the symposium, entitled “Excellence In Public Service” conducted by the Energy Regulatory Board (ERC) on November 23, 2009, held at Pacific Center Building, San Miguel Ave., Pasig City; and, as the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the 46th Anniversary Celebration of the Printing Industries Association of the Philippines, Inc., held at the Century Park Hotel on December 17, 2009.
He was one of the 8 Justices of the Court of Appeals designated to act as group facilitators on the Supreme Court sponsored forum on Increasing Access to Justice last July 1, 2008 to benefit the poor, cultural minorities and marginalized sectors. He was the Chairman of the Panel of Assessors for candidates for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD.) on Legal Education at the Cagayan State University, in collaboration with the San Beda School of Law, on April 6, 2010. On October 7, 2010, he was among the selected Court of Appeals Justices who attended the PHILJA-sponsored Roundtable Discussion on Court Leadership: Judicial Reform and Improving Judicial Administration held at the Makati Shangrila. He was chosen as a “Reactor” on the topic “Simplifying and Improving the Litigation Process” during the 13th IBP Convention of Lawyers held in Subic, Zambales, on April 7-9, 2011. He was one of the selected Court of Appeals Justices who attended the Round Table Discussion on Combating Human Trafficking in the Philippines held at the Century Park Hotel on September 22, 2011. During the 2011 Anti-Illegal Drugs Forum, which was attended by the different stakeholders in the justice sector held at the PICC on November 14, 2011, he was unanimously chosen by the Supreme Court, the DOJ and the DILG to be the Master of Ceremonies. He represented the Court of Appeals in the 1st National Criminal Justice Summit held at the Manila Hotel on December 5 and 6, 2011 attended by the judiciary, the executive and the legislative branches of government. He was one of the four justices that composed the delegation of the Court of Appeals in the Southeast Asia Judicial Workshop on Cybercrime held in Bangkok Thailand on April 26-29, 2016.
He was chosen as Chairman of the Panel of Judges at the Final Rounds of the 2012 San Beda Public International Law Moot Court Competition held on March 3, 2012 at San Beda College Manila. He was bestowed the Distinguished Bedan Award (Law) by the San Beda College Alumni Association, Inc. at the NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio, Global City on February 18, 2010. In July 2010, he joined the distinguished Corps of Professors of the College of Law at the De La Salle Lipa City. On May 29, 2010, he was given the honor and privilege of being the 1st Recipient of of the Symbolical Key to the City of Carson, California by Mayor Jim Dear on behalf of the City Council and Citizens of Carson, California, USA.
On November 15, 2013, he was awarded a Plaque of Appreciation by TOFARM for being a member of the Board of Judges in the Search and Award of the Most Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines. On November 15, 2015 he was again awarded a Plaque of Appreciation by TOFARM.
Last January 24, 2014, he delivered a speech entitled “Lawyers Ethical Challenges in Appellate Practice” before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Board of Governors Annual Convention in Albay. On July 11, 2014, he was invited to deliver an Inspirational Message and administer the Oath of Membership during the Testimonial Dinner given by the IBP Greater Manila Region, Manila IV (Conrado V. Sanchez Chapter) to honor the new member-lawyers who passed the 2013 Bar Examinations. On January 13, 2015, he was again chosen by TOFARM as one of its Judges in the search of the outstanding farmer of the Philippines held in Makati, Shangri-la. On March 14, 2015, he was invited by his high school alma mater, the University of Nueva Caceres, as its Commencement Speaker during its 67th Commencement Exercise.
On April 26-29, 2016, he attended the Southeast Asian Judicial Workshop on Cybercrime in Bangkok, Thailand as one of the four justices that composed the delegation of the Court of Appeals. On June 28, 2016, he was named by the Philippine Jaycee Senate Foundation, Inc. as a Joaquin “Jake” Gonzales Fellow, in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance in furthering and promoting the tenet of the Jaycee Creed that “Service to humanity is the best work of life”. In November 2016, he once again judged in TOFARM's search for the outstanding farmer of the Philippines.
On March 8, 2017, he was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the 176th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He took his oath on March 9, 2017 before Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. and now serves as a member of the Third Division of the Supreme Court.
Recently, he attended a Workshop on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers at the Headquarters of the International Maritime Organization of the United Nations in London on June 21 to 25, 2017. During the said workshop, he gave a short presentation on the protection of seafarer's rights in the Philippines. The workshop is part of the celebration of the International Day of the Seafarers.
Married to Ma. Cynthia Cornejo Tijam, he has three children and six grandchildren.