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Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa was named today by President Benigno S. Aquino III as the newest Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to fill up the lone vacancy in the High Tribunal. He is the 174th to be appointed member of the High Court.
Justice Caguioa was in the shortlist submitted to Malacañang by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC). He got all nods from the seven-member JBC panel.
Justice Caguioa served the Aquino administration in two capacities, first as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel (January 2013) and later as Secretary of Justice (October 2015).
The founding member of the Caguioa & Gatmaytan & Associates, Justice Caguiao withdrew from the firm upon his appointment as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel. The law firm eventually changed its name to Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio.
Justice Caguiao obtained a degree in Economics, graduating Honorable Mention, from the College of Arts and Sciences of Ateneo de Manila University in 1981. He eventually enrolled in its College of Law and obtained his Juris Doctor degree in 1985, ranking fifth in his class. He also ranked 15th in the Bar exams given that same year. In 1986, he joined SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan in 1986 and was a partner there from 1994 until February 2007.
While he had a long stint with Sycip, he actually went on leave for a year in 1987 to practice with his father, the late Eduardo P. Caguioa, a retired Justice of the then Intermediate Appellate Court (now Court of Appeals). While with Justice Caguioa, the younger Caguioa handled mostly appeals to the CA and the SC.
Justice Caguioa has two decades-and-a half of experience in litigation and arbitration. He has handled and tried a broad range of cases involving contract disputes, corporate restructuring and rehabilitation, expropriation, conflicting mining and real property claims, debt recovery, infrastructure and engineering disputes, intra-corporate controversies, medical malpractice claims, product liability and tort. He also has extensive experience in international and domestic arbitration dealing with commercial and construction disputes.
Justice Caguioa was also an academic, being a former professor at the Ateneo Law School, San Sebastian College, and University of Santo Tomas where he taught Obligations and Contracts, Property, Statutory Construction, and Administrative Law.
Justice Caguioa was cited as a leading Philippine lawyer in the Dispute Resolution field by Chambers & Partners in its 2010 and 2011 Asia-Pacific publications.
Justice Caguioa replaced Justice Martin S. Villarama, Jr. who retired last January 16. ###