Regino Campos Hermosisima, Jr. (born October 18, 1927) of Banilad and Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines is the incumbent 3-termer regular member of the Judicial and Bar Council. Appointed on December 17, 1997 by Fidel Ramos, he was reappointed on September 12, 2001 and on October 4, 2005, by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Hermosisima, Jr. had initially been appointed to the Supreme Court as an Associate Justice on July 10, 1995 and retired on his 70th natal day on Oct. 18, 1997.
Hermosisima, Jr. started his career as Law Professor, Criminal Law and Criminal Law Review at the University of Visayas, Cebu City; he taught Evidence at the Far Eastern University, Manila and Trial Technique and Moot Court at the San Sebastian College; he was a Bar Reviewer in Criminal Law at the University of Visayas and FEU, and Bar Examiner, Criminal Law, 1999 Bar Examination.
Hermosisima, Jr. attended post graduate studies of Program for Executive Development at the Development Academy of the Philippines (1975) and at the University of the Philippines Law Center, Institute and Seminars.
Hermosisima, Jr. began his legal career in private law practice (1953; 1955 – 1966) by establishing the famous Hermosisima Law Offices at Cebu, Basilan City, and Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur. He was Technical Assistant in 1954 of the House of Representatives, Manila, City Councilor, Basilan City (1960 – 1963), Vice-Mayor, Basilan City (1963), Chairman, Eighth Amnesty Commission in 1973 at Mindanao (appointed by the then Secretary of Justice Vicente Abad Santos, while serving as CFI Judge of Basilan City).
Hermosisisa, Jr. rose from the ranks. He had 31 years in the judiciary, starting as trial judge (20 YEARS): Judge, Court of First Instance (1966 – 1976) Basilan City and Province; Judge, CFI of Cebu (1976 – 1979), Branches IX and XI; Judge, Circuit Criminal Court (1983 – 1986), Cebu City, Branch XVIII, Region 7.
Hermosisima, Jr. was appointed by Corazon Aquino as Sandiganbayan Justice (9 years) (May 16, 1986 – July 18, 1995), and promoted as an Associate Justice on July 10, 1995 and retired on his 70th natal day on Oct. 18, 1997. He is incumbent Chairman of the Board of Trustees, University of Cebu. He was awarded a Medal of Honor as the most distinguished alumnus of the University of Visayas.
In his 177 pages decision dated September 28, 1990, Hermosisima, Jr.'s Sandiganbayan found the said accused guilty as principals of the crime of murder in both Criminal Cases Nos. 10010 and 10011, and he sentenced them to reclusion perpetua in each case. The judgment became final after this Court denied petitioners’ petition for review of the Sandiganbayan decision for failure to show reversible error in the questioned decision, as well as their subsequent motion for reconsideration. In August 2004, the said accused asked the High Tribunal to re-open the case, but the last appeal was denied.
On August 21, 2007, (Aquino’s 24th death anniversary), Enrile stated that the case of the 14 soldiers incarcerated for 24 years now, due to the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr. should be reviewed for clemency. Enrile paid for the legal services of the soldiers during their trial, and said the soldiers and their family have suffered enough. 15 soldiers of the Aviation Security Command were sentenced to double life imprisonment for the double murder of Aquino and his alleged lone communist gunman, Rolando Galman, and one of them had died. They were all acquitted on December 1985, by the Sandiganbayan' Manuel Pamaran, but the Sandiganbayan's Regino C. Hermosisima, Jr., (promoted to Supreme Court Justice and incumbent 3 termer Judicial and Bar Council regular member) convicted them on Sept. 28, 1990.
On the 24th Anniversary of the death of Benigno Aquino, Jr., Cory stated that she had forgiven the 14 incarcerated soldiers for the assassination of her husband but she would not ever nod to appeals for their release. On the other hand, Andres Narvasa stressed that there was no direct evidence linking Ferdinand Marcos and Fabian Ver to the murder. Narvasa further pleaded for the release of the 14 soldiers since they have suffered enough, and warned that Mrs. Aquino is not a vengeful person.
Both the Agrava Board report and the Hermosisima, Jr. court resolved that it was either a .45 cal. or a .38 cal. pistol that was used in killing Aquino, thereby dismissing Olivas’ magnum theory, which pointed to Rolando Galman as the killer and the weapon as the .357 Magnum pistol. The court maintained that it was Moreno who shot Aquino but that he used a different gun. But the real weapon and the masterminds are still unaccounted after 24 years. Meanwhile, the 2 mysterious Magnum revolvers will remain at the Sandiganbayan’s bodega until the return of Capt. Felipe Valerio, the group commander of the Avsecom 805th Special Operations Squadron, who might be the last key to Aquino’s death.
Aug. 24, 1983 – Ferdinand Marcos set a fact-finding commission headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Enrique Fernando to investigate the Aquino murder (composed of 4 retired Supreme Court Justices who resigned, after its composition was challenged in court and thereafter, Arturo M. Tolentino declined appointment as board chairman.
Aug. 31, 1983 – Burial of Ninoy at the Manila Memorial Park, Paranaque after the 11-hour procession joined by 2 million Filipinos.
Oct. 22, 1983 – Marcos created another fact-finding Agrava Board, headed by former Court of Appeals Justice Corazon Agrava, chairman, with lawyer Luciano E. Salazar, businessman Dante G. Santos, labor leader Ernesto F. Herrera and educator Amado C. Dizon, as members (3 P.D. 1886 dated October 14, 1983 and Amendatory P.D. 1903 dated February 8, 1984). It held 125 hearing days from November 3, 1983 (including 3 hearings in Tokyo and 8 hearings in Los Angeles, California), heard 194 witnesses recorded in 20,377 pages of transcripts.
Oct. 22, 1984 – Agrava Board released the reports concluding that military officers, including Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Fabian Ver, conspired to kill Ninoy and the Supreme Court assigned the case to the Sandiganbayan.
Dec. 2, 1985 – The Manuel Pamaran Sandiganbayan acquitted all the accused.
May 16, 1986 – Corazon Aquino appointed Regino C. Hermosisima, Jr. Justice of the Sandigangbyan (until July 18, 1995).
Sept. 12, 1986 – The Supreme Court ordered a retrial, granting the 2nd Motion for Reconsideration in G.R. No. 72670.
Sept. 16, 1986 – The Sandiganbayan issued warrant to arrest 25 military men, led by Ver and a civilian.
Sept. 28, 1989 – Marcos died in exile at age 72 in Hawaii.
Sept. 28, 1990 – Regino C. Hermosisima, Jr. penned the 177 pages Sandiganbayan judgment to jail the 16 suspects, sentencing them to reclusion perpetua in each case. Convicted of the crime were the Avsecom chief, Brig. Gen. Luther Custodio, Capt. Romeo Bautista, 2nd Lt. Jesus Castro, and Sergeants Claro L. Lat, Arnulfo de Mesa, Filomeno Miranda, Rolando de Guzman, Ernesto Mateo, Rodolfo Desolong, Ruben Aquino and Arnulfo Artates, supposed gunman Constable Rogelio Moreno, M/Sgt. Pablo Martinez, C1C Mario Lazaga, A1C Cordova Estelo and A1C Felizardo Taran. Custodio died of cancer while in prison in 1991. Estelo was stabbed dead in 2005 by another inmate. However, no mastermind was named.
July 23, 1991 – The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction.
December 17, 1997 – Regino C. Hermosisima, Jr. was appointed Judicial and Bar Council regular member.
September 12, 2001 – Regino C. Hermosisima, Jr. was re-appointed Judicial and Bar Council regular member.
March 8, 2005 – The Supreme Court denied the petition of the accused (filed on August 2004) to re-open the case.
October 4, 2005 – Regino C. Hermosisima, Jr. was re-appointed Judicial and Bar Council regular member, for his 3rd term, duplicating the 3rd term of Teresita Cruz-Sison. His last term will expire on July 9, 2009.
August 21, 2007 – The 24th anniversary of Ninoy’s murder. Chief Justice Andres Narvasa appealed for the closure of the case; Juan Ponce Enrile asked for the review for clemency in favor of the 14 convicts; Palawan Bishop Pedro Arigo, chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) asked pardon for the convicts; Corazon Aquino and Benigno Aquino III forgave the 14 soldiers but opposed their appeals for clemency or parole (which Sec. Raul Gonzales submitted to the President on 2004); Eduardo Ermita stated that the Bureau of Pardons and Parole had recommended a grant of executive clemency.
August 24, 2007 - Eduardo Ermita officially announced that due to political implications, the appeal for clemency by the 14 soldiers was archived, even if the Bureau of Pardons and Parole presently reviews the plea. The executive secretary refused to give a time frame for the review.
Likewise, he stated in his JBC message that the Council aims to nominate the "best and the brightest" among the applicants. In support, he cited Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., justice of the Supreme Court of the United States - (T)he rectitude and the fairness in the way the courts operate must be manifest to the members of the community, particularly to those whose interests are affected by the exercise of their functions.
Hermosisima, Jr. was past President of the Councils of YMCA movements in Asia and Pacific countries and Territories and incumbent Member of Executive Committee, Standing Committees and Task Groups For the Quadrennium:2004-2007 and Member also of the CONSTITUTIONAL MATTERS, YMCA. On November 27, 2005, the feast day of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Hermosisima, Jr. had been reelected national President of the YMCA, Philippines (established in 1911, 94 years ago).
Hermosisima, Jr. was also:
- Past President, Philippine Columbian Association
- Past President, Rotary Club of Cebu
- Past President, Rotary Club of Basilan
- President, YMCA of Cebu
- Past President, Cebu Capitol Tennis Club
- Past President, Basilan JAYCEES
- Past President, Cebu Tennis Club
- Charter Member, Community Chest
- President, Parish Pastoral Council, St. Peter Parish, Quezon City
- Special Minister of Holy Communion
- Roman Catholic Lay Leader
Hermosisima, Jr. wrote brilliant ponencias: Sombongh v. Court of Appeals, Atok Big Wedge Mining Company v. Intermediate Appellate Court, Catholic Bishop of Balanga v. Court of Appeals, Equatorial Realty Development Inc. v. Court of Appeals, Estate of Mariano San Pedro vs. Court of Appeals, GMRC, Inc., et al. v. Court of Appeals, Islamic Directorate of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals, De Santos v. Hon. Angeles, Defensor-Santiago, et al. v. Comelec, inter alia.
Hermosisima, Jr. lives at a small condominium at the Capitol Estates, Fairview, near the St. Peter Parish and Ever Gotesco, Fairview, Quezon City.
Papa Ino to his grandchildren Regino is married to Rosemary P. Navarro of Alaminos, Pangasinan, and Lamitan, Basilan Province. They were blessed by God with very good children: Atty. Marceliano Hermosisima, Assistant Vice-President, Trust Department, Philippine National Bank; Mr. Mario Hermosisima, businessman; Dr. Carol Hermosisima-Carabaña, Asst. City Health Officer, Zamboanga City; Dr. Monalisa Hermosisima, Chua, Consultant Physician, Chong Hua Hospital, Cebu City; and Dr. Beverly Ann Hermosisima, Consultant Physician, Chong Hua Hospital, Cebu City.