In a simple Recognition Rite held at the Bulwagang Diego Cera (school auditorium), on September 28, 2018 (Friday), the San Sebastian College – Recoletos of Manila (SSC-R Manila) gave a tribute to Hon. Jose C. Reyes, Jr., the recently appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, replacing Associate JusticePresbitero J. Velasco Jr. who retired last August 7, 2018.
The program, which was spearheaded by the SSC-R Alumni Association, Inc., through the leadership of Mr. Benjie C. Salvador, the association’s incumbent President, in coordination with the High School Batch of 1966, from which the honoree belongs, was attended by the Junior High School, Senior High School and College students of SSC-R Manila.Associate Justice Reyes in his opening message, expressed his gratitude to the organizers and to the entire Sebastinian community for the invitation and the tribute accorded to him. “It is an honor to be back in an institution where I was once a part of as a high school student.” he said.
As he narrated, he became a lawyer in 1978 and had his first job, as a lawyer, in the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Felix V. Makasiar. For four (4) years, he was a Metropolitan Trial Court judge in Pasig City (1987-1991) and a Regional Trial Court judge in Rizal for twelve (12) years (1991-2003). Prior to his appointment in the Supreme Court, he was an Associate Justice in the Court of Appeals, where he served for fifteen (15) years, from 2003 to 2018.
He likewise shared three basic principles which practically guided him in his journey from being a student, a practicing lawyer, a Metropolitan Court and Regional Trial Court judge, an Appellate Court Associate Justice and as a newAssociate Justice of the prestigious Supreme Court. He encouraged everyone, especially the young ones to “dream with God.”“When you aspire for something, never set aside God from your plan, make Him your inspiration instead,” he continued. “Live simply, so that others will simply live.” is another guiding principle which he underlined.“Live within your means and live within your needs so that others may also have their appropriate share that is also enough for them.” he briefly elaborated.Lastly, he emphatically expressed that “Public service is in itself a reward.” He recounted that he would often tell and remind his office staff members not to receive any compensation other than their salary, because their service to the people is already their reward.
Guided by those three principles in his life, Associate Justice Reyes has successfully carried forward the red and gold colors of his Alma Mater, SSC-R Manila, when he made it to the Supreme Court as one of its Associate Justices, the highest aspiration which every lawyer could ever dream.
The short but very meaningful program in the school auditorium was followed by a simple get-together at the school’s Coffee Shopwhere lunch was served. The entire Sebastinian community takes pride for having the Hon. Jose C. Reyes, Jr., as its guest and honoree for such a rare occasion.Congratulations, Associate Justice Reyes and Bravo Basté!