Justice Rosmari D. Carandang hangs her judicial robe today. She turns 70, the mandatory age of retirement for Supreme Court Justices, on January 9.
In lieu of the traditional retirement ceremonies, a hybrid retirement mass followed by a simple yet meaningful program were held earlier this morning at the Supreme Court Training Center.
Among those who paid their tributes to Justice Carandang were Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, Senior Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, Justice Amy C. Lazaro-Javier, Justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, Justice Rodil V. Zalameda, Justice Jhosep Y. Lopez, and Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez. Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Remedios A. Salazar-Fernando, the Supreme Court Chiefs of Offices and other court officials also attended the online event.
Justice Carandang thanked everyone who helped her navigate her judicial career for 27 years. “I thank God for all the graces that He has given me and my family. I wish to thank my staff for helping me navigate my three years stay in the SC.”
Justice Carandang also thanked her fellow Supreme Court Justices “who have given me guidance, inspiration, and help para magawa ko ang dapat sa SC. We have to remember that this institution is the last step, huling baitang, na tinitingala ng tao to be able to get justice, fair treatment, and humane treatment. Sa aking panunungkulan for the last 27 years, sa araw-araw, I asked the help of God to always guide me.
She added: “People who do not know me might misunderstand me. Na ako ay napaka-istrikto. Taong hindi ngumingiti, taong hindi bumabati. The most that I can do is to raise my hand to acknowledge greetings to me. But I tell you, sa lahat ng lawyers ko who stayed with me for the longest time in their careers, I wish that each one of you has learned from me. Because we did our work together. We learned to work with one another. I learned from you, and you learned from me.”
A native of Ilog, Taal, Batangas, Justice Carandang was born to public school teachers Sixto and Loreto Carandang. She was a consistent valedictorian from grade school at San Luis Elementary School, to high school at Batangas West High School.
She obtained her Bachelor of Arts Major in Political Science at the University of the Philippines, the same university where she earned her Bachelor of Laws degree, graduating cum laude and Salutatorian of the class of 1975. She placed 9th in the 1975 Bar Examinations.
Before she joined the Judiciary, Justice Carandang worked for private financial and government institutions. In December 1993, she was appointed Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 12, where she also served as one of its Vice-Executive Judges. She was appointed Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals in March 2003, serving the appellate court for over 15 years until her appointment as the 181st Associate Justice of the SC in November 2018. (Courtesy of the SC Public Information Office)