SC Extols Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura; Bids Him Farewell
March 17, 2022
The Supreme Court honored Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura, the Supreme Court’s 158th Associate Justice, during a hybrid necrological service held on Thursday at the Supreme Court En Banc Session Hall.
Justice Nachura, who was referred to by members of the Supreme Court as a premier constitutionalist, a political law rock star, and a great public servant, passed away on March 13, 2022 at the age of 80. He was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from February 2007 until his retirement in June 2011. He is survived by his wife Conchita; children Annalou and John, Joy and Andree, Ryan and Aby, Andy and Luzette; and grandchildren Gabe, Vito, Edric, Teddy, Sara, Neo, Atom, and Ion.
The urn containing Justice Nachura’s ashes was brought to the Supreme Court where a memorial program was held in his honor.
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo said that Justice Nachura has “cemented his legacy as one of the legal luminaries in the country,” citing the latter’s accomplishments as Solicitor General and as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Justice Nachura, he said, was the first Bar Chairperson who adopted the twoexaminer policy. The Chief Justice also shared an anecdote on how he was invited by Justice Nachura to serve as the Bar Examiner for Remedial Law during the 2009 Bar Examinations, of which the late Justice was the Chairperson. Chief Justice Gesmundo shared that he was about to leave Justice Nachura’s office when the latter inserted a folded letter paper in his pocked, with strict instructions to read it only when he has left the Supreme Court. “When I opened it as soon as I left the \ Supreme Court, lo and behold, it said, ‘Instructions to Bar Examiners,’” the Chief Justice Gesmundo recalled.
The Chief Justice said that while he may not have been fortunate to work with Justice Nachura in the Office of the Solicitor General where he also once served as Assistant Solicitor General, he said that he witnessed Justice Nachura’s diligence when the latter chose him as a Bar Examiner. “I likewise saw his dedication, his drive for excellence, and his facility to work with people. The privilege of being a Bar Examiner greatly enhanced my credentials,” said the Chief Justice.
Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando, Justice Amy C. Lazaro-Javier, and Justice Mario V. Lopez also delivered their eulogies, with each sharing how Justice Nachura played a part in their respective judicial careers.
Justice Hernando shared that Justice Nachura was his former professor and, later on, co-professor at the San Beda College of Law. Referring to Justice Nachura as “a political law rock star,” he shared: “Justice Ed led the way for me to embrace the Nachura brand of public service―one that was steeped in the golden rules: you work hard, you do your best, and be kind to everyone.”
Justice Hernando also shared that it was during the time that Justice Nachura was Bar Chairperson in 2009 that he first became an examiner for Commercial Law. “That was the first of the three times that I became examiner in Commercial Law in the Bar Examinations,” he shared. He added: “Little did I know that I was the only the Regional Trial Court judge that he had engaged as an examiner in his 2009 Bar 2 Committee that included no less than our Chief Justice who was then Sandiganbayan Justice. Chief Justice Alex was examiner in Remedial Law.”
During the oath-taking of the successful 2009 Bar examinees, Justice Hernando was already promoted to CA, a position he had applied for upon the prodding of Justice Nachura.
Justice Hernando said that Justice Nachura has touched so many lives, including his, stressing that the former was “just the humblest of persons.” He stressed: “Real humility can only be seen and known in those who are truly brilliant.”
Justice Javier, for her part, said that Justice Nachura whom she fondly called “Manong Ed,” was a “revered Supreme Court Associate Justice, during and after his incumbency. The premier constitutionalist. A well-loved and born educator. A masterful author. A most sought after lecturer. One of the most outstanding Solicitor Generals of the country. One of the luminous chief presidential legal counsels the Office of the President has ever had. The pride of Samar whose presence in the House of Representatives during his term as a member was strongly felt during plenary sessions
and committee hearings, and in terms of actual bills passed.”
Justice Javier disclosed that “Manong Ed had the distinct ability to simplify the most complex legal principles, cases, and provisions of law in such a way that even the most mentally challenged could understand, appreciate, and get interested in.”
She likewise revealed that she was close to her Manong Ed and would regularly meet up with him and his wife prior to the pandemic. She also shared that Justice Nachura was a devotee of his namesake, San Antonio de Padua.
Justice Lopez, on the other hand, said that Justice Nachura was “superb public servant” and a “very prayerful” individual. He acknowledged that Justice Nachura was instrumental in his judicial career, acknowledging that “I succeeded because of his unselfish support.”
Atty. Annalou Nachura-Gallardo, Justice Nachura’s daughter, delivered her family’s response and thanked everyone for sharing memories of her father. She said: “Knowing how valued he was in this hall of great minds, gives us consolation and pride. But more than the decisions he wrote, more than his leadership and more than the titles he held, I am glad you remember him the way we wish him to be remembered ― a kind and humble public servant, a teacher and a mentor, and a good and loyal friend.”
Justice Nachura was among the few who served in the highest levels of all three branches of the Philippine government. In 2006, he was appointed Solicitor General, a position he held until his appointment as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 2007. He previously was a member of the House of Representatives where he served from 1998 to 2004 for two terms, representing the 2nd District of Samar.
A native of Catbalogan, Samar, Justice Nachura took up law at San Beda College where he graduated with first honorable mention. He placed seventh in the 1967 Bar Exams.
Justice Nachura was also a revered law professor at his alma mater and at Arellano Law School, where he eventually served as dean.