De Gracia Jr. dies at 75-A A +A
Thursday, March 7, 2013
RETIRED Cebu City Executive Judge Fortunato de Gracia Jr. passed away on Wednesday morning due to heart complications. He was 75.
Lawyer Pamela Faye Desidas, former clerk of court of de Gracia, said the judge died past 4 a.m. yesterday, about seven days after he was admitted to Chong Hua Hospital on Feb. 27.
De Gracia is survived by his wife, Luciana, a retired nurse, and their six children.
De Gracia retired on Sept. 25, 2008 after serving the judiciary for eight years.
He was appointed RTC executive judge in 2007.
De Gracia also served as coordinator and lecturer of the Philippine Judicial Academy (Philja) for the Visayas and Mindanao after he retired in 2008.
Lawyer Desidas said de Gracia underwent a bypass surgery in the United States in 2001.
In September last year, the judge went back to the United States for a vacation and to undergo further medical checkup. But he returned home five months after his vacation on Feb. 26.
The following day, he was admitted to the hospital.
Desidas said de Gracia was a jolly person who preferred to always talk to his court personnel rather than staying inside his chamber.
In 2006, de Gracia received the Judicial Excellence Awards from the Supreme Court, along with 19 other “outstanding judges and clerks of court” in the country.
The late judge also served as chief of the Office of the Constabulary Judge Advocate and as deputy regional commander of the Philippine National Police in Central Visayas prior to his stint in the judiciary.
He was conferred a plaque of recognition by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in July 2004 for his crusade against violence and illegal drugs.
De Gracia, along with Thelma Chiong of the Crusade against Violence and a litigant, wrote the High Court about the alleged rampant corruption in the judiciary, particularly in the Court of Appeals Cebu Station.
The SC, however, dismissed the allegations, saying they pertain to matters taken up by trial courts in pending cases and they are “subject to review” in the “proper judicial proceedings prescribed by the Rules of Court” and “not in an administrative investigation.”
It saw a need to amend the internal rules of the CA by imposing strictly the rule on reassignments.
It stopped the practice of granting the requests of justices, who want to remain in their old posts even though changes in seniority require they be reassigned to other divisions.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 07, 2013.