Drugs court judge: Zero backlog

He was known as “Mr Promulgator” in the bench as a special drugs court presiding judge. He sets a record of “zero backlog” as he ended his colorful career as a lawyer municipal and regional trial court judge. A week before he retired, he still was able to wipe out his backlog of cases in his own sala and came out with a clean slate. He was presiding judge of the special drugs court. He took over another sala of a retired judge and left 89 pending cases.

At 65 he chose to hang his judicial robe and enjoy the benefits of a private life with his family and peers. He is none other than the honorable Judge Crescencio Tan Jr, military man, a juror, civic leader and an exemplary family man.

Last January 1, 2019, Judge Tan achieved what would have been a rare feat in the Judiciary, a ZERO case load at the end of December 31, 2018. All pending cases in his court for the year 2018 totaling 222 cases have already been disposed of. At the start of the said year, his Special Court for Drug Cases had no case to try, hear, or decide.

As Acting Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 36, Dumaguete City, another Special Court for Drug Cases, where he took over upon the retirement of the Presiding Judge in July of 2018, he also disposed of 373 cases from a case load of 435 cases, leaving only 62 cases pending by the end of 2018. On his last working day on June 28, 2019, he left only 89 pending cases, in the sala he took over.


Judge Tan is happily married to Dr. Betsy Joy Bustamante-Tan, former Vice President for Academic Affairs, Silliman University, with whom he has two lovely daughters, Maricris Joy Tan-Regencia, a senior bank teller at Chinabank and married to Larry Vincent C. Regencia, Chair, Computer Applications Department of the College of Business Administration, Silliman University and Mia Crisanee B. Tan-Tijing, now with her husband, Dr. Leonard D. Tijing, a Senior Lectuter at the University Technology of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia. He has three grandchildren, Madeline Clare Regencia (Baby Mara) and Rafael Alfred Regencia (Baby Rafa) and Baby Sofia Amelie Tijing (Baby Sofie).

“Jugene”the Retiree

Judge Rafael Crescencio C. Tan Jr. first assumed office as a Municipal Trial Court (MTC) judge on June 1, 1999. Within three years, he was awarded the Justice Alex Reyes Award for Judicial Excellence as Outstanding MTC Judge. Since then, such work ethic towards excellence has been his career pattern. Judge Tan’s independence, intelligence, industry, and integrity in his professional career as a Regional Trial Court Judge of a Special Court for Drug Cases is a model for the Philippine Criminal Justice System, which merited him several awards from government and non-government entities.

This work ethic was recognized when he received the Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano Award for Judicial Excellence as Sole Outstanding RTC Judge for 2015 on the occasion of the 24th Awarding Ceremonies of the 2015 Search for Outstanding Judges and Clerks of Court held at Centennial Hall A, Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, Manila on September 18, 2015 given by the Supreme Court of the Philippines and the Society for Judicial Excellence.

Earlier, he has received the 2010 Outstanding Oriental Negrense Award for Excellence in the field of Government Service/Public Service given by the province of Negros Oriental, the 2012 Outstanding SULAW Award in the field of Government Service-Judiciary by the College of Law, Silliman University and the Silliman University Law Alumni Association, Inc. (SULAW) and the Outstanding Dumaguetnon Award given by the City Government of Dumaguete City.

He has also received the Ulirang Ama Awardee 2016 for Law and Judiciary given by the Ulirang Ina/ Ama Awards Foundation, Inc. to Outstanding Filipino Fathers of significant achievement in their respective field of endeavor and/ or career combining this successfully with the task of caring for the family on the occasion of the International celebration of Father’s Day, held at the Centennial Hall, Manila Hotel on June 19, 2016.

His court holds a record of handing down judgments on 14 criminal cases in one morning of October 28, 2005. This was repeated on March 25, 2011 when again the court handed down judgments in 14 criminal cases in one morning. For the month of July 2011, Judge Tan handed down judgments in 19 cases; in the following month of August, he handed down judgments in 15 cases.

In 2008, Judge Tan was seconded to be the first and only Regional Court Administrator of the pilot Regional Court Administration Office, 7th Judicial Region, Lapu-lapu City where he tried his best to implement the decentralization plan of the Supreme Court’s Action Program for Judicial Reforms. Within those two years, he brought the Supreme Court closer to its regional employees through a systematic strategy of administrative and financial services.

Indeed to the Philippine Criminal Justice System, Judge Tan has taken upon himself this personal crusade through the conduct of anti-illegal drug workshops and seminars for high school and college students. His anti-illegal drug campaign has contributed to the awareness of the youth on the evils of drug abuse – the essential but critical lessons of the Dangerous Drugs Board’s Barkada Kontra Druga concept when students indulge in otherwise meaningful barkada activities.

More than his being a Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Judge Tan has demonstrated his love for his fellowmen when as a reserve officer in the Philippine Army, commanding a ready reserve battalion.

Judge Tan is also actively involved in the Scouting movement having organized Rover Scouting in Silliman University in 1999, while at the same time the Assistant Commandant of the ROTC Unit since 1989.

Judge Tan is a 1970 graduate of Silliman University for his Bachelor of Arts degree major in Mathematics and his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1988. He also took his Master in Public Administration degree, initially at the University of the Philippines – finishing at Silliman University in 1994 under the Civil Service Commission Local Scholarship Program, Masteral Degree, first batch of scholars nationwide.