Senior Associate Justice Josue N. Bellosillo, called by family and friends as “Nonoy”, was born on November 13, 1933, in the Poblacion of Capiz (now Roxas City).
Justice Nonoy is the 4th of 6 children of Jose Bermejo Bellosillo and Rita Benliro Blanco both from Pan-ay Town. His siblings are Rosa Cantiller, Oscar, Anisia Fagutao, Onilda Dasal (education), and Adolfo (an accomplished cardiology doctor).
He is married to the former Victoria Dinglasan of Roxas City. They have 1 child named Clifton Kent Jose Ramon.
Justice Nonoy’s Growing Up Years
At ___ years old, young Nonoy was accelerated and completed his elementary schooling only in four (4) years with honors and graduated class valedictorian in high school.
Significant Experience in Capiz – Grade 2 during WW2, when he had to hide in swamps of Panay; During the War, 7 or 8 years old, had to paddle a boat to go to a farm, in swamps hiding, catching crabs in creeks, thrilling, with nets called bintol, taong and tapangan to catch crabs. When clases resumed after the war, instead to grad 2, he enorlled in grade 3, 2 months promoted. Again in grade 3-4-5, 4 years in elementary.
Capiz high towards end of the year, burned down; no class room for class, they stayed in a bldg until CPC, transferred 3 years. Graduated valedictorian. Same exam-1st to 4th year, luckily got no.2.
Why take up law – when he was small, wanted to be an engineer, he was fed with wooden toys with Capiz Trade School. Sickly when small in house, a doctor was ninong, wanted to be a doctor. In HS, always elected President in class, went to UP without discussing with parents Bachelor of Liberal Arts (2 years) leading to Bachelor of Law (4 years).
In HS, found himself joining debates and oratory contests; model boy at home or in school, so he had to strive to live up to the expectations.
Life at the University
At __ years old, noticeable were his talents on debate and oration, and interest in studying. His parents wanted him to finish law, just pass.
He finished law at the University of the Philippines in 1957 and passed the Bar same year.
Upsilon Fraternity Batch 52 – initiation (bring flowers to Gfs). During the fraternity’s final rites, it was Ninoy Aquino (2nd year in Law) who drove him to his dorm in UP Diliman and said “Goodbye, Brod, Future Justice of the Supreme Court”. Coincidentally, it was Pres. Cory who appointed her to the Supreme Court. Previous work experiences brought him a hair breath’s away from the Supreme Court.
“Shy as a child but building up self for some responsbility in the future, honor as a model boy in Capiz” – Articulate and brave – public service motivated him to go into this extent, to help others.
Studies and Exposure Abroad
He was a graduate of The Academy of American and International Law, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A in 1981; studied in California Judicial College, Berkeley, California, U.S.A in 1985.
Work abroad but already a Judge. Prepared him all the more for the profession he was in, Ex.
In Dallas, Texas, studied international law; elected Secretary General of the Alumni Association. Came back to Iloilo after USA.
He also studied Doctor of Laws, honoris causa in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila in 7 April 2002; and Doctor of Laws, honoris causa in the University of the East in 25 September 2003.
Private and Government Practice
In Roxas City, he was handling cases that professionally honed his expertise; helped not just Capiznons but also other Filipinos is their legal cases. Inclination is trial lawyer to help people for free. To defend, not to tell a lie or fabricate lies, if accused, assume client is innocent.
Effective Speech Seminar; Decided to practice law; was challenged by an old practitioner – “bragging about this 34 yrs. Of …” at least I have 34 years of experience; started in Manila and Roxas City, became a lawyer of interesting cases, that honed his talent and wisdom.
After college, Justice Josue immediately went to private practice until his appointment to the Bench: Judge, Court of Agrarian Relations, Iloilo (1971-1975), Court of First Instance, Iloilo (1975-1982), CFI, Rizal (1982-1983), RTC NCJR Pasig, Metro Manila (1983-1986), Associate Justice, Intermediate Appellate Court (1986), Associate Appellate Justice, Court of Appeals (1986-1991), Court Administrator, Supreme Court (1991-1992) and Senior Justice, Supreme Court (1992-2003).
At present, Justice Bellosillo is the Vice Chairman and Corporate Counsel of PHILTRUST Bank; Dean of the CEU School of Law and Jurisprudence; Chairman of the Supreme Court Committee, Revision of the Rules on Criminal Procedure; and Managing Partner, Juris Praesidium Secundum (an MCLE provider).
Note: Justice Bellosillo retired from the Supreme Court with an outstanding record of disposing of all his cases submitted for decision, i.e. he retired with “zero backlog,” a rare feat indeed!
Awards, Accomplishments, and Accolades
In 2001, Justice Bellosillo received the Grand Achievement Award for Law and Justice, The Who’s Who in the Philippines Awards of Parangal ng Bayan Foundation. He was also recognized as the Most Oustanding Capiceño in the Field of Law, a Halaran Award, in 1988; Most Oustanding Ilonggo of the Katilingban Sang Mga Ilonggo sa Pilipinas, Inc., in 1994; One of the Most Outstanding Citizens of Western Visayas, Panay News, in 1991. He was also a Fellowship Grantee of the International and Comparative Law Center in 1981; The Asia Foundation, Inc. in 1985; The United States Information Agency in 1991; and The Natural Resources Management and Development Project of Australia in 1992.
He is the author of books such as Effective Pre-Trial Technique (1990 Edition); Leave Us Alone (2003 Edition); Effective Pre-Trial Technique (2011 Edition); and he is also a co-author of several law books.
Justice’s Dream for Country and Capiz
Philippines: have not gone far, or taken far but Capiz seems to be improving esp with Pueblo de Panay Towshp (Hall of Justice as proposed by JNO); Capiz go up – stagnant for long.
Partner who believe in countryside devt.; have to grow/expand
secret to youth – shower before and after
SC – 1000 cases including resolutions, 900 cases
Among the youngest the Court of Appeals; no. 13 choice in Court Administrator, but was appointed CA (deals with Admin matters of Judges); with the rank near Supreme Court
Advice to youth: Live life so well that even death would love to see you alive. (have inclinations but no chance to be a poet; have friends who have poets; artist in words, no chance on painting; at grade 5, attempted to draw Fr. Burgos, who his sister noticed it.)