Justice Mario Villamor Lopez became Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on December 5, 2019. His illustrious career began when he pursued Bachelor of Laws in San Beda College where he graduated with Cum Laude Honors. Throughout his study, Justice Lopez was noted for his remarkable proficiency and was one of the celebrated Top Thirty in the 1980 Bar Examinations.
His involvement in the judiciary started after law school as technical assistant in the Supreme Court (1981-1983) before working as Hearing Officer in the Supervision and Examination Sector, Central Bank of the Philippines (1983-1985). He served in the Government as Special Prosecution Officer with the Office of the Ombudsman until his appointment as RTC Judge of Batangas City in 1994. His legal acumen was immediately recognized. In 2005, he was honored with the Chief Justice Ramon Avanceña Award as Outstanding RTC Judge of the Philippines and for the Best Decision in a Civil Case in Second Level Courts. He is a recipient of the prestigious Service Award of the Province of La Union in 2013.
Since then, the distinguished Justice has been an active participant in the continuing development of the legal education. He is a professor at San Beda College, University of the Philippines, University of Asia and the Pacific and Arellano University, where he was named the Most Outstanding Professor of the Year (2002 and 2004). He is also a notable pre-bar reviewer handling criminal law in various schools. He is an MCLE lecturer and has conducted lectures in various institutions, and IBP San Francisco, California, USA Chapter. In April 2015, he was a Guest Lecturer at the University of California in Berkeley, California, USA. He is currently, a Professorial Lecturer II at the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
Justice Lopez is a State Party Governmental Expert in Criminal Law of the UN Convention Against Corruption, a member of the Society for Judicial Excellence, ASEAN Law Association, an alumnus of the Harvard Law School, Massachusetts, USA, and a fellow of the Academy of American and International Law, Plano, Texas, USA. He is also a member of the 2014 Code of Crimes Committee and the Bar Exams Expert Committee at the University of the Philippines. He was the examiner in Criminal Law for the 2009 Bar Examination, and Legal Ethics for the 2017 Bar Examination.
Before his appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Lopez served as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals for thirteen years. He was the Chairperson of the Twelfth Division and the Chairperson of the Court of Appeals Rules Committee.