Press Release
November 23, 2020

Senate adopts resolution honoring the late Justice Palma

Senators on Monday, November 23, 2020 adopted Senate Resolution No. 577 commemorating the 107th birth anniversary of the late Supreme Court Justice Cecilia Munoz-Palma who was born on November 22, 1913.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, who authored and sponsored the measrure, said Palma was the first woman to be appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the first woman prosecutor of Quezon City, the first woman Judge of the Court of First Instance, and the second woman Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals.

Drilon said Palma is remembered as a "legal luminary who championed the truth, democracy human rights and freedom" through her ponencias during the Martial Law period.

Despite being appointed by the late President Ferdinand Marcos to the Supreme Court, Drilon said Palma upheld an independent judiciary penning several landmark dissents to the declaration of Martial Law and abuse of power.

"In 1986, Justice Munoz-Palma was elected as president of the Constitutional Commission whihc framed a new Constitution anchored on principles of democracy, sovereignty and social justice. The 1987 Constitution embodies the spirit of freedom and democracy by establishing a presidential system of government with three branches - the legislative, the executive and the judiciary - separate and independent of each other to ensure check and balance," the senator said.

He said the 1987 Constitution safeguards against the return of authoritarian rule and reaffirms the people's right to life, liberty and property, due process, equal protection of laws, freedom of religion, speech, press and peaceaful assembly.

"It is therefore fitting that we honor the late Justice Munoz-Palma by the adoption of this resolution in commemoration of her 107 birth anniversary," Drilon said.

All senators present physically and virtually were made co-author of the resolution.

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