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2013 Judicial Excellence Awardees

September 17, 2013

The Supreme Court, through the Society for Judicial Excellence, today announced the four big winners out of 69 nominees in this year’s annual search for the country’s excellent judges and clerks of court. The 2013 Judicial Excellence Awards winners were chosen for their integrity, dedication, and commitment to public service and the rule of law.

The winners are Judge Mary Ann E. Corpuz-Mañalac of the Regional Trial Court, Br. 141, Makati City, Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano Awardee; Judge Ma. Angelica T. Paras-Quiambao of the Regional Trial Court, Br. 59, Angeles City, Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos Awardee; Judge Emma C. Matammu of the Regional Trial Court, Br. 269, Valenzuela City, Chief Justice Ramon Avanceña Awardee; and Branch Clerk of Court Eileen Joy T. Pakino-Bonghanoy of the Regional Trial Court, Br. 18, Cagayan de Oro City, Outstanding Branch Clerk of Court (Multi-Sala), Second-Level Courts Awardee.

The Award Ceremonies for Judicial Excellence will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow, September 18, 2013, at the Pandanggo Hall, Manila Hotel.

This year’s Board of Judges was led by Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio as Chair with Retired SC Justice Bernardo P. Pardo as Vice Chair and SC Justice Diosdado M. Peralta, Retired SC Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, Retired SC Justice and Philippine Judicial Academy Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna, JBC Member Atty. Ma. Milagros N. Fernan-Cayosa, and University of the Philippines College of Law Dean Danilo L. Concepcion, as members.

The Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano Awardee for 2013

The much-coveted Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano Award is given to Outstanding RTC Judges. This year, the awardee is Judge Mary Ann E. Corpuz-Mañalac of the Regional Trial Court, Br. 141, Makati City.  She ranked  fifth in San Beda Law School’s 1991 batch of 96 graduates and first joined the judiciary in 1992 as Branch Clerk of Court of the RTC, Branch 8 of Malolos, Bulacan.  She would later become Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 28, Sta. Cruz, Laguna from 2004 to 2007; within the period, she served as Acting Presiding Judge of Branch 27 from 2005 to 2007 while serving as Executive Judge of RTC Sta Cruz, Laguna. She was appointed to the RTC of Makati City in 2007. Before joining the judiciary, Judge Mañalac served the Office of the Ombudsman for a solid nine years–as Resident Ombudsman for the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the National Housing Authority, and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board from 2000 to 2003; and Graft Investigation Officer I and II from 1994 to 2003. She is also a law Professor, who teaches Criminal Procedure and Special Proceedings at the New Era University and has also lectured before various government agencies on public accountability, graft and corruption prevention, and Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713).

An AB Political Science graduate at the University of Santo Tomas, she went straight to law school at the San Beda College. She took her degree in Master of Arts in Public Administration at the UST, graduating magna cum laude, under the Civil Service Commission Local Scholarship Program from 1996 to 1998. In 2012, her high school alma mater St. Mary’s Academy in Baliuag, Bulacan gave Judge Mañalac the Most Outstanding Alumni/Centennial Award.

Born on July 27, 1966 in Manila to Atty. Daniel A. Corpus and Atty. Elenita E. Corpus (deceased), Judge Mañalac is married to Gaudencio Rafael, also a lawyer. They have a 15-year old daughter, Margaret Gretel.

The Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos Awardee for 2013

The Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos Awardee this year is Judge Ma. Angelica T. Paras-Quiambao of the Regional Trial Court, Br. 59, Angeles City who coincidentally marked this year her silver anniversary in government service. Judge Quiambao’s 25-year government service includes rendering free legal service to indigent clients at the then Citizen’s Legal Assistance Office/Public Attorneys Office of the Department of Justice from 1988 to 1993. Her stint in the Judiciary started with her appointment as Judge of the Municipal Trial Court, Clarkfield, Pampanga in 1993 and continued with her promotion to the Regional Trial Court in 2001. She served as Executive Judge of RTC Angeles City from 2007 to 2010, overseeing reforms in the raffle committee and steering employees to perform their duties with discipline and honesty. Judge Quiambao is no stranger to awards for her performance; she has been recognized in the past for top performances at the CLAO/PAO; Best Written Decision Award from the Philippine Women Judges Association; Acknowledgment of Rendition of Gender Sensitive Decision by the Gender Justice Awards; Public Service Award from the Society of Broadcast Journalists, Inc.; and Gintong Sikap Award from the Angeles City Lawyers League.

She has a degree in Mass Communication with a major in Communications Research from the University of the Philippines in 1982. She finished law at the Ateneo de Manila Law School as a dean’s lister in 1986. Judge Quiambao was born in San Fernando, Pampanga on September 19, 1962.

The Chief Justice Ramon Avanceña Awardee for 2013

The power of her pen secured Judge Emma C. Matammu of the RTC, Br. 269, Valenzuela City this year’s Chief Justice Ramon Avanceña Award.

Judge Matammu started her government career in July 1998, serving as Legislative Staff Officer at the Office of Senator Leticia Ramos Shahani. She would later have stints at the Department of Justice as Executive Assistant, and with the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office-Office of the President, as Presidential Legislative Liaison Officer before joining the Judiciary, through the Chambers of then Associate Justice Artemio V. Panganiban.

Her work relations with Chief Justice Panganiban started in November 1996 when she was appointed as Court Attorney IV. She was promoted to Judicial Staff Head in June 2001. In September 2003, she was Supervising Legislative Staff Officer, with then Justice Panganiban concurrently serving as member of the House/Senate Electoral Tribunal. From July 2004 to December 2005, she was a Staff Director at the Office of House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal chaired by Justice Panganiban.  She last served Chief Justice Panganiban as his Chief Judicial Staff Head from January to December 2006.

Previously, Judge Matammu was also Assistant Secretary to the Office of the Executive Secretary-Office of the President from October 2007 to February 2010. She was appointed to the Bench in February 2010. She engaged in private practice from 2003 to 2004. She was a legal intern at the Law Offices of Madrid-Crost in Chicago, Illinois, from October 2002 to May 2003.

She earned her Master of Laws degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, USA in 2002. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (Economics) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines. Graduating from law school, she shared the Best Best Paper Award for a paper entitled “The Feasibility of an Intellectual Property Rights Approach to the Protection of Genetic Resources: Should We Patent Life?” with two co-authors. She has also written the book Summa: Syllabi of Decisions and Opinions of Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, a Supreme Court publication in 2006. bBorn in Tuguegarao, Cayagan on December 11, 1965, Judge Matammu is enjoying her single-blessedness.

Outstanding Branch Clerk of Court (Multi-Sala), Second-Level Courts for 2013

This year’s Outstanding Branch Clerk of Court (Multi-Sala), Second-Level Courts is Atty. Eileen Joy T. Pakino-Bonghanoy, Branch Clerk of Court, RTC 18, Cagayan de Oro City.

Atty. Bonghanoy significantly contributed to the speedy disposition/resolution of cases before her court by ensuring  that all pleading/motions filed were correctly addressed and acted upon in a timely manner by the judge concerned. She also ensured that case records are complete by maintaining a log book and a monthly report of all the stenographic notes pending transcription. These stenographic notes (in yellow sheets), together with the minutes of the hearing, are immediately attached to the records. Additionally, she has been described as diligent in the submission of the docket reports, and in the conduct of semestral inventory of cases. She would also step up and provide the leadership necessary when the Presiding Judge is on official business in his additional courts; she has also instilled discipline and ideal work ethic among court personnel, a presiding judge who nominated her observed.

Atty. Bonghanoy has worked at the Court of Appeals as Clerk IV, then Executive Assistant IV, then Court Attorney IV, until her appointment to her current post on August 21, 2008. She obtained her law degree in 2007 from the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro City, her college alma mater. ###