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Kapampangan jurist honored with Gawad Felisa Jocson Award

KAPAMPANGAN ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CITED. Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta (center) receives the Gawad Felisa Gomez-Jocson award from President Felicitas Manalang (second from left) and other officials of Jocson College in ceremonies held on March 25, 2024 in Angeles City. Estoesta was recognized for her outstanding achievements as one of the highest ranking Kapampangans in the judiciary. Also in photo are (L-R): Jocson College Director Eduardo Manalang… and, Justice Gomez-Estoesta’s husband Atty. Eric Estoesta.
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Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta was honored by her cabalen last week with the Gawad Felisa Jocson award for her achievements as one of the country’s top jurists.

Justice Gomez-Estoesta, who currently chairs the Seventh Division of the Sandiganbayan, received the award from officials of Jocson College led by its President Felicitas Manalang in ceremonies held in Angeles City on March 25, 2024.

The award, which was named after Jocson College Founder Felisa Jocson, honors outstanding Kapampangan women achievers and is presented annually as part of the commemoration of Felisa Jocson’s birth anniversary and International Women’s Month.

Jocson College Executive Vice-President Leigh Jocson said Justice Gomez-Estoesta was recognized for her outstanding accomplishments in government service, particularly in the judiciary.

Justice Gomez-Estoesta began her career as junior associate in a Law firm before joining the Office of the Solicitor General. She then became a Muncipal Trial Court judge and later a Regional Trial Court judge in Manila before she was appointed in 2014 as Associate Justice in the Sandiganbayan.

She was 47 years old when she was appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III, making her the youngest justice in the anti-graft court at that time.

Justice Gomez-Estoesta is the recipient of several awards, including Most Outstanding Judge for First Level Courts and Best Decision in Criminal Cases. She was also recognized by the Supreme Court as most outstanding judge for first-level courts and is a recipient of the Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano award as most outstanding judge for second-level courts.

Justice Gomez-Estoesta hails from Angeles City and went to Holy Family Academy, De La Salle University, and the Ateneo De Manila School of Law.

Justice Gomez-Estoesta is the second recipient of the Gawad Felisa Jocson. The first recipient is a fellow Angeleño, Ambassador Laura Quiambao del Rosario, President of Miriam College, who received the award in 2023 in recognition of her outstanding contributions as an educator and diplomat.