Philippine judiciary

De Lima case: Who is Judge Gener Gito?

James Patrick Cruz

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De Lima case: Who is Judge Gener Gito?

PROFILE. File photo of Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 206 Judge Gener Gito

Judge Gener Gito

Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 206 Judge Gener Gito grants former Senator Leila de Lima's petition for bail

MANILA, Philippines – Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 206 Judge Gener Gito granted the bail of former senator Leila de Lima on Monday, November 13, after almost seven years in detention.

The case was reraffled to the said branch on July 10 following the inhibition of two judges.

Gito is a returning judge in De Lima’s cases, having handled some of them before he was relieved of his designation as acting presiding judge, following a circular issued by the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA). The OCA revoked “designations as acting presiding judges and assisting judges outside their respective regions.” 

When Gito handled the cases, De Lima scored minor victories like being allowed a furlough to visit her ailing mother. In 2022, he also junked the prosecutors’ request to hold De Lima and her lawyer Filibon Tacardon in contempt for statements made before the media.

Aside from De Lima’s case, Gito is also handling the case against former Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag in relation to the killing of Jun Villamor, the alleged middleman who contacted people to kill broadcaster Percy Lapid.

Gito also played a crucial role in the release of the longest-detained political prisoner Juanito Itaas in 2021. Itaas, known as Ka Nitoy, was arrested in 1989 when he was 25 years old when the New People’s Army took responsibility for Rowe’s killing. He was convicted in 1991 by a local court.

Gito was officially appointed Muntinlupa City judge in December 2019. Before this, he worked as a regional trial court judge in Balanga City in Bataan and Malolos in Bulacan.

He has also served in the Senate as Director III-Chief of the Legal and Legislative Affairs Service from October 2008 until July 2014.

Gito is also eyeing appointment to the Court of Appeals, where his wife Emily Gaspar-Gito serves as Associate Justice.

A July 7, 2023 letter by the Judicial and Bar Council addressed to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. showed that Gito was among the 27 names nominated for the three vacant positions of associate justice at the Court of Appeals.


Gito graduated from the University of Batangas with a political science degree in 1992 and took up law at Sebastian College-Recoletos.

In 2012, he earned his master of laws degree from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. He also obtained his doctor of civil law degree, summa cum laude, in 2016 from the University of Santo Tomas (UST).

Aside from being a magistrate, Gito also teaches constitutional law and remedial law at UST, the University of the East, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, San Sebastian College, University of Asia and the Pacific, Bulacan State University, Tarlac State University, and University of Perpetual Help.

He also serves as a bar reviewer in various review centers across the country.

In 2019, the Society for Judicial Excellence awarded him the prestigious Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano Award for being the most outstanding regional trial court judge in the Philippines. –

1 comment

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  1. DV

    Good job for Judge Gener Gito, he knows who the guy is. BTW , since he is still handling the case of the killing of Percy Lapid, I hope he turns his attention to the case ofGerald Bantag. The former Bureau of Correction chief is still on the lam.

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James Patrick Cruz

Patrick Cruz is a researcher and writer for Rappler’s governance cluster. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, he covered local governments focusing on Metro Manila.