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Retired Chief Justice Andres R. Narvasa died on Thursday, October 31, 2013, due to a lingering illness. He was 84.
Chief Justice Narvasa's remains were cremated and his ashes placed in an urn which will be on display at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Shrine Parish Church, New Manila, Quezon City, where Holy Mass will be celebrated every 6 p.m. until Sunday, November 3, 2013. On Monday, November 4, 2013, his cremated remains will be in the Supreme Court En Banc Session Hall from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. to allow the Members, officials, and employees of the Judiciary to pay their last respects.
Chief Justice Narvasa is survived by his children Andres, Jr., Raymundo, Gregorio II, Socorro, Martin and Regina and their respective spouses, and grandchildren. His wife Janina Yuseco has passed away after his retirement in 1998.
Chief Justice Narvasa was appointed to the Supreme Court as its 112th Associate Justice on April 10, 1986 by then President Corazon C. Aquino. On December 8, 1991, President Aquino appointed him as the 19th Chief Justice. He retired after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 on November 30 1998.
Prior to his judicial appointment, he engaged in private law practice having headed the Andres R. Narvasa & Associates. He was also a Professor of Law and a Bar Reviewer. Likewise, he served as Legal Counsel for his alma mater, the University of Santo Tomas, wherein he has served also in various capacities including Vice-Rector for Student Affairs, Member of the Board of Trustees, President of the Faculty Club, and Dean of the Faculty of Civil Law.
Chief Justice Narvasa also served as Chair of the Preparatory Commission for Constitutional Reform, a special agency tasked to look into potentially positive modifications in the Philippine Constitution, from 1999 to 2000.
He graduated salutatorian in elementary at Colegio de San Juan de Letran and valedictorian at the Arellano High School, 1945. He finished his Bachelor of Laws, graduating magna cum laude, at the University of Santo TomasFaculty of Civil Law. He placed second in the 1951 Philippine Bar Examinations, with a bar rating of 91.6%. He was conferred a Doctor of Laws degree honoris causa by the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Angeles University Foundation, and University of Santo Tomas.
Chief Justice Narvasa was appointed as the general counsel for the Agrava Fact-finding Commission, which formed by then President Ferdinand Marcos to investigate the death of former senator and staunch Marcos critic Benigno Aquino, Jr.. The Commission was chaired by former Philippine Court of Appeals Associate Justice Corazon J. Agrava. As general counsel, Narvasa meticulously pieced together evidence to point out the military in the Aquino-Galman murders.
He has administered the Oath of Office to Philippine Presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada.
After his retirement in 1998, he was appointed by then President Estrada to chair the Preparatory Commission for Constitutional Reform, an independent commission formed to study the basic charter and suggest potentially positive modifications. He served in this capacity from 1999 to 2000.
Narvasa also served as counsel for President Joseph Ejercito Estrada in his impeachment proceedings before the Philippine Senate and plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan.
Among his various awards were a Plaque of Merit as Most Outstanding Alumnus of Faculty of Civil Law, UST Alumni Foundation, Inc., Papal Award Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, Human Rights Award from the Concerned Women of the Philippines, Ninoy Aquino Movement for Freedom, Justice, Peace and Democracy of the United States of America, and Outstanding Manilan ’93 during the 422nd Araw ng Maynila. ###