‘The Firm’ founder Romeo Barza reshuffles Court of Appeals
In his first act in office, Romeo Barza, the new presiding justice of the Court of Appeals (CA) ordered the reshuffle of CA Justices in their division assignments.
Barza was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte early this month — five months after then presiding justice Andres Reyes Jr. was appointed to the Supreme Court (SC) in July.
In his Office Order No. 1-17, signed last Dec. 11, 2017, he has ordered the reorganization of the following divisions due to the retirement of two of its members — the compulsory retirement of Justice Leoncia Dimagiba and untimely death of Justice Florito Macalino.
Barza will now be the chairman of the CA First Division and will be joined by Justices Mario Lopez as a senior member and Victoria Isabel Paredes as a junior member.
Barza bested fellow Associate Justices Remedios Salazar-Fernando, who served as CA Acting Presiding Justice, and Marlene Gonzales-Sison for the post.
A native of Lupon, Davao Oriental, Barza co-founded the now disbanded Carpio Villaraza Barza Cruz & Rosell Law Offices which was previously known as The Firm.
Barza started his career in the judiciary in October 1995 when he was named judge in Batangas City. He was elected national president of the Philippine Judges Association in 2003 and re-elected in 2005.
He obtained his law degree from the University of the Philippines in 1974, was a trustee of the Philippine Judicial Academy from 2003 to 2006.
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed Barza to the appellate court on May 4, 2006.
Under Barza’s reorganization plans, the CA Second Division will now be chaired by Justice Remedios Salazar-Fernando: Third Division will now be under Justice Rosmari Carandang; Justice Jose Reyes will chair the Fourth Division; Justice Fernanda Lampas-Peralta will head the Fifth Division; and Justice Magdangal De Leon for the 6th Division chairmanship.
Justice Japar Dimaampao will chair the Seventh Division; Justice Celia Leagogo will be leading the Eight Division; Justice Mariflor Castillo for the Ninth Division; Justice Sesinando Villon for the 10th Division; Justice Ramon Bato Jr. chairing the 11th Division; and Justice Normandie Pizarro for the 12th Division.
Justice Apolinario Bruselas Jr. is the new head of the 13th Division; Justice Ramon Garcia for the 14th Division; Justice Ricardo Rosario will head the 15th Division; 16th Division chairperson is Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison and 17th Division chairperson is Justice Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla.
The Visayas CA stationed in Cebu City shall be headed by Executive Justice Gabriel Ingles while the Mindanao CA in Cagayan de Oro will be headed by Executive Justice Romulo Borja.