AFTER serving the judiciary for 45 years, Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Perez retires on Wednesday.

According to SC Public Information Office (PIO), Justice Perez, who had reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 today is the first home grown Associate Justice of the SC.

The SC said Perez first joined the High Court on December 1, 1971 as a technical assistant right after graduating from the University of the Philippines College of Law.

Perez worked his way up and was eventually appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the 167th Associate Justice on December 26, 2009 replacing Associate Justice Leonardo Quisumbing.

With his 45 years of service to the high court ,Justice Perez was able to serve 15 chief justices from the 10th Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion up to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Perez was given the tradition retirement in an en banc session last Tuesday in honor of his more than four decades of service in the judiciary.

The Associate justices, headed by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, participated in the program. Justice Sereno was on leave.

Each of the Associate Justices presented tokens to Justice Perez with Justice Diosdado Peralta leading the ceremony.

The most recent landmark ruling penned by Justice Perez is Senator Grace Poe's citizenship case.

In a 47-page decision penned by Perez, he said that a foundling is qualified and considered natural-born Filipinos because to say otherwise would be discriminatory towards foundlings.

The decision had allowed Poe to run for the May 2016 polls. (Sunnex)