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Hon. Flordeliz Fargas, IAWJ Rising Leader

Hon. Flordeliz Fargas, IAWJ Rising Leader
By Flordeliz Cabanlit Fargas
Posted: 2024-03-04T17:19:37Z

The journey of becoming a Filipino judge is a long and difficult hurdle. Preparation starts even prior to passing the Philippine Bar.

        The Philippine Constitution only requires that no person may be appointed judge unless he is a citizen of the Philippines and a member of the Philippine Bar,[1] and that the person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence.[2] Congress, on the other hand, imposes additional qualifications that all judges of the first level courts shall be at least thirty (30) years of age and have at least five (5) years’ experience as a lawyer. For second level courts, all judges must be at least forty (40) years of age and at least ten (10) years’ experience as a lawyer.[3]

        The Judicial and Bar Council which is the selection and nomination body for magistracy[4] established factors to prove competence, integrity, probity and independence. Competence is measured by educational preparation; relevant experience; work performance ratings; results of comprehensive medical examinations and psychological and psychiatric evaluations as prescribed under Rule 6 of the JBC Rules; performance in the written evaluative examinations and personal interviews under Rule 7; and other relevant accomplishments, such as, the performance in the Prejudicature Program of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA). Even the nature, designation, and case docket of the court where the vacancy exists is considered.[5]

        Under a merit-based selection, educational preparation includes the assessment of scholastic performance, scholarships and awards, civil service eligibilities, bar examination and Prejudicature ratings and the like.[6] Since scholastic performance, awards and bar ratings are gauged, indeed, the elements of becoming a Judge are harnessed even prior to being a lawyer.

        The length and quality of work experience is determined by the number of years in the Judiciary or the government and private sector.[7] Performance ratings shall likewise be submitted; samples of their decisions if in the judiciary, as well as the awards received.

        Integrity, probity, and independence are evaluated through feedback from superiors, subordinates, colleagues, and the public in general as well as criminal, civil and administrative cases filed against the applicant.[8] 

Like all applicants for magistracy, Judge Flordeliz Fargas had to possess all these qualifications and go through all the processes for nomination and appointment.

        Academically, the Judge Fargas graduated with Honors from elementary school until college. She was then Top 2 of the graduating classes in both the elementary and high school levels in 1984 and 1988 respectively. She finished her 4-year Bachelor of Arts degree as Magna Cum laude. She then pursued Law for another four (4) years and got her diploma for Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor degree in 1992. She then took the Bar examinations and successfully passed it on her first take.

        Her judicial career made a jump start in the Supreme Court of the Philippines where she worked as Legal Researcher and Court Attorney of then Justice Isagani Cruz and Justice Santiago Kapunan. After two (2) years in the Supreme Court, she transferred to the Court of Appeals where she stayed for seven (7) years as Court Attorney of then Justice  Buenaventura Guerrero. Realizing that she would gain more legal experience in the Supreme Court, she moved up and served as Court Attorney of then Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. in the Supreme Court for about six (6) years. After Chief Justice Davide’s retirement, she transferred to the Judicial and Bar Council for about twelve (12) years.

While in the Supreme Court, she joined the academia and was invited to be among the lecturers/facilitators for the Philippine Judicial Academy. With all these qualifications, she then realized that she was ready for Magistracy. She applied and was successfully appointed as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 5 (Family Court) of Trece Martires City. She is also the Executive Judge of first and second level courts within the jurisdiction of Trece Martires City, General Trias City and the Municipality of Tanza.


Judge Fargas taught the following Law subjects: Political Law; Labor Law; Rules on Civil Procedure; Legal and Judicial Ethics; Women, Children and the Law; and Communication Skills for Lawyers.


She is a member of the Pool of Lecturers of the Supreme Court and the Philippine Judicial Academy. She is a facilitator and resource speaker in the government and private sector on the following: Code of Conduct for Court Personnel; Gender and Development; Republic Act 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act; Republic Act 7877 on Sexual Harassment; Republic Act 9710 on the Magna Carta for Women; Seminar on Solemnization of Marriages for Newly Appointed Judges; Multi-disciplinary and Community based approach on Restorative Justice especially for Children in Conflict with the Law and Republic Act 9262 on Anti-violence against Women and Children and GAD planning and Budgeting sessions. She is an Assessor of the Moot Court for Applicants for judicial posts on subjects involving Environmental Law, Cybercrime and Republic Act 9262, the Fast Round Questions and the Writing Skills Assessment conducted by the Philippine Judicial Academy  during Pre-judicature Trainings.


She is also a Resource Speaker of the Justice Cecilio Munoz Palma Foundation, Inc. during the Kids and Teens Court Awareness Programs (KTCAP).


For Judge Fargas, the journey towards magistracy was long and tough but with dedication, focus and perseverance, the fulfillment of her dream is the fruit of the labor to achieve it.

[1] Article VIII, Section 7, paragraph 2 of the Philippine Constitution.

[2] Article VIII, Section 7, paragraph 3 of the Philippine Constitution.

[3] Sec. 15, B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by Sec. 4, Family Courts Act and Sec. 3, Judges-at-Large Act.

[4] See Article VIII, Section 8, paragraph 5 of the 1987 Constitution.

[5] Rule 3, Section 1 of the JBC No. 2020-01, otherwise known as the 2020 Revised Rules of the Judicial and Bar Council.

[6] JBC

[7] JBC

[8] JBC