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Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr
Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on 31 March 2006. He is now the third most senior member of the Supreme Court and the Chairman of its Third Division, and the Chairman of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.
After finishing his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in the University of the Philippines in only three years, Justice Velasco pursued his Bachelor of Laws degree in the same university and became a member of the Order of the Purple Feather Honor Society and the Editorial Board of the Philippine Law Journal. He graduated eighth in his class with a grade of 1.79 and placed sixth in the 1971 Bar examinations with a rating of 89.85%.
Prior to joining the public sector as a regular member of the Judicial and Bar Council in 1993, Justice Velasco was a private law practitioner for 20 years. He served the Integrated Bar of the Philippines as its National President, Commissioner of the IBP Committee on Bar Discipline and Chairman of the National Committee on Legal Aid.
Justice Velasco was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 1998 and as Court Administrator in 2001 up to 2006. Previously, he served as Undersecretary of the Department of Justice, Commissioner of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board and the Commission on Settlement of Land Problems, and Chairperson of the Board of Pardons and Parole.
He was awarded Most Outstanding Jurist by the Consumers Union of the Philippines in 2000.
Justice Velasco was past president of the Judiciary Golf Club, the Quezon City "Capitol" Jaycees and the Philippine Columbian Association. He is a member of numerous golf clubs in the Philippines with a handicap index of 18.1. He had 8 holes-in-one and 2 double-eagles. He also plays tennis.