PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has named Supreme Court Justice Diosdado M. Peralta as the new chief justice, the high court said in a statement yesterday.

Mr. Peralta, whom former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointed to the high tribunal in 2009, will replace Lucas P. Bersamin who retired on Oct. 18.

Mr. Peralta, a former government prosecutor who’s been in the Judiciary for more than two decades, got all seven votes of the Judicial and Bar Council, the body that recommends candidates to the president, the court said.

He is the most senior among the justices who applied for the top Judiciary post in terms of tenure, and will sit as chief justice until he retires at the age of 70 on March 27, 2022.

Born in Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, Mr. Peralta started his career in government service in 1987 when he was appointed third assistant city fiscal of Laoag City.

He was assigned to the Manila Prosecutor’s Office in 1988 and later became the assistant chief of the Investigation Division of the Office of the City Prosecutor in 1994.

He joined the Judiciary in September 1994 when he was appointed presiding judge of Branch 95 of the Quezon City regional trial court. He was promoted to the Sandiganbayan, the country’s anti-graft court, in 2002 and became its presiding justice in 2008.

Mr. Peralta inherited the 1,128 judicial and administrative cases when he became a justice in 2009, the high court said. He has managed to reduce these cases to 300 to date “due to sheer diligence and passion for work,” according to the statement.

“He is consistent as one of the top performers in adjudicating cases,” it added.

Mr. Peralta is an alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law, where he graduated in 1979. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics from the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in October 1974.

Before his appointment to the high tribunal, he was a professor, lecturer, resource person and Bar reviewer in criminal law, criminal procedure, remedial law and trial techniques at several universities including UST, the Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines Law Center, according to the statement. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas