November 22. Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma
First Woman Supreme Court Associate Justice
Amstar Company, Inc. Perf. 14.
Singles, Sheets of
40 (10 x 4)
7p Portrait of Justice Palma with
Supreme Court Justice Seal -
First Day Covers: Manila
A Filipino jurist and the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court
of the Philippines. She was appointed to the Supreme Court by
President Ferdinand Marcos on October 29, 1973, and served until she
reached the then-mandatory retirement age of 65.
The daughter of a congressman from Batangas, Muñoz-Palma earned her
law degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law,
and a Master of Laws degree from Yale University. She became the
first woman prosecutor of Quezon City in 1947. Seven years later,
she became the first female district judge when she was named a
trial court judge for Negros Oriental. In the next few years, she
was assigned as a judge to Laguna and Rizal provinces until her
appointment to the Court of Appeals in 1968, the second woman ever
to be appointed to the appellate court. In 1973, she again made
history, this time as the first female Supreme Court Associate
Justice, preceding by eight years Sandra Day O'Connor, the first
female justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
After Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency in 1986, she created the
1986 Constitutional Commission to draft the new Constitution and
appointed Muñoz-Palma as one of its members. The Commission would
later elect her as its President.
Following the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, Muñoz-Palma
faded from the public eye. However, in 1998, she supported Joseph
Estrada for the presidency. After his election, President Estrada
appointed the 85-year old Muñoz-Palma as Chairperson of the
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. She served in this capacity
until 2000. Muñoz-Palma strongly denounced the circumstances that
led to Estrada's vacation of the presidency and the assumption into
office of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Muñoz-Palma died on January 2, 2006, at the
age of 92.
Three years later, the International
Women’s Forum inducted her into its International Hall of Fame. The
Justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma Foundation was formed by her family and
friends to “continue what she started”.