Ex-Chief Justice Narvasa dies at 84-A A +A
Thursday, October 31, 2013
(3RD UPDATE) Former Chief Justice Andres Narvasa passed away Thursday morning at age 84, the Supreme Court SC) announced on its official Twitter account.
Narvasa, the country's 19th Chief Justice, died at 6:05 a.m., because of pneumonia.
"With deep regret, the SC announces the passing of the Hon. Andres R. Narvasa, the 19th Chief Justice, at 6:05 this morning. He was 84," the SC said. Details on the wake and interment will be announced at a later date.
Expressing the Court’s condolences, Acting Chief Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. said Narvasa was instrumental for various reforms in court procedures.
“As Chief Justice, he led the Court by example displaying integrity and wisdom and serving as a model for justices and judges to emulate. Even as he loomed large in life, his presence remains with us still, in his legacy of judicial reform and excellence,” Velasco said.
Narvasa, who was Chief Justice from December 8, 1991 until his retirement on November 30,1998, had rough times while at the helm.
He held off two impeachment complaints, the last in 1997 when a group of Muslims accused him of falsifying 72 decisions, along with then Associate Justice Josue Bellosillo, from 1991 to 1996.
After leaving the judiciary, Narvasa was tapped by then President Joseph Estrada as chair of the Preparatory Commission for Constitutional Reform, a special agency tasked to look into possible changes in the 1987 Constitution, from 1999 to 2000.
He then served as Estrada’s lead defense counsel in the impeachment trial, which was cut short by the second People Power that catapulted then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to power.
Narvasa was named Associate Justice on April 11, 1986, years after he earned praises as general counsel for the Agrava Fact-Finding Commission which probed the assassination of former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1983.
"Kaisa natin ang buong sambayanan sa pakikidalamhati sa pamilya ng pumanaw na dating Supreme Court Chief Justice Andres Narvasa kaninang umaga. Nagbibigay pugay tayo sa kanyang matapat na paglilingkod sa bayan bilang mahistrado, manananggol, at law dean," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing.
Born November 30, 1928, Narvasa graduated salutatorian in elementary at Colegio de San Juan de Letran and valedictorian at the Arellano High School in 1945.
He received his law degree from the University of Santo Tomas and placed second in the 1951 Bar Examinations, with a rating of 91.6 percent.
Narvasa engaged in private law practice for more than 30 years before joining the judiciary. He held various positions in UST including vice-rector for student affairs and member of the board of trustees.
The late chief justice also had honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Angeles University Foundation, and UST. (JK/SDR/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)