Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ricardo Paras on Stamps

Paras had an illustrious career in the judiciary starting as a judge in the Court of First Instance in Samar, Ilocos Sur, Abra and Pangasinan. In 1936, President Quezon appointed him as one of the original members of the Court of Appeals. He also served as associate Justice of the supreme court during the Japanese occupation.

Ricardo M. Paras (February 17, 1891 - November 25, 1984) was the Chief Justice of the Philippines from April 2, 1951 until February 17, 1961.

He graduated his Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines in 1913, and placed second (after future president Manuel Roxas) in the Bar Examinations that same year. He engaged in private law practice before being elected in the House of Representatives in 1919. His judicial career started when he was appointed judge in 1924, and later on appointed in 1936 to the Court of Appeals. He became an associate Justice in 1941, and was a member of the wartime judiciary during the Japanese Occupation.

Paras made a frugal approach in order to survive and maintain the efficiency of service during the post-war years. He advocated the elimination of the case backlog, and encouraged speedy adjudication and deliberation of the cases. His dedication to such advocacy paid off, when there was no more backlog upon his retirement in 1961.

His son, Edgardo B. Paras, became a member of the Philippine Supreme Court from 1986 to 1992.

According to Justice J.B.L. Reyes, during the deliberations of the People v. Hernandez rebellion case, Justice Sabino Padilla (who is the brother of the Solicitor General arguing for the Government) openly accused the Chief Justice (Paras) for being prejudiced against the Government and asking biased questions during the oral argument. Riled, Paras rebutted, and a heated exchange soon ensued, which would have worsened had not they restrained themselves.

Date of Issue: June 3, 1991