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CA justice who penned decision vs. Rufino-Prietos in Mile Long dispute appointed to SC

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The Court of Appeals magistrate who penned the decision prompting the Rufino-Prietos to vacate the prime Mile Long property in Makati City has been appointed to the Supreme Court.

Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go on Friday (August 10) confirmed that Court of Appeals Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr. is President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest appointee to the high tribunal.

Reyes will take the place of Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, Jr., who retired on August 8.

Like Duterte, Reyes obtained his law degree from the San Beda College of Law.

In 2017, Reyes wrote the decision of the CA’s former Fifth Division stating that a Makati court had no authority to rule on Mile Long’s ownership.

The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 59 had stopped Sunvar Realty, a company owned by the Rufino- Prietos, from vacating the P2.9-hectare Mile Long property and paying the government some P478.20 million in back rentals since June 2015.

The National Power Corporation is Mile Long’s registered owner. The Rufino-Prietos continued to collect rent from tenants of the property even after its lease contract with the government ended in 2002.

Duterte has repeatedly slammed the Rufino-Prietos for tax evasion for pocketing the lease payments from Mile Long.

Reyes served as judge of the Pasig City Metropolitan Trial Court and Rizal Regional Trial Court prior to his appointment to the Court of in 2003.