PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed an appellate court justice to the Supreme Court, according to the tribunal.
Jhosep Y. Lopez will replace Justice Priscilla J. Baltazar-Padilla, who retired for health reasons in November, it said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. Executive Secretary Salvador S. Medialdea confirmed the appointment in a Viber message.
Mr. Duterte has now appointed 11 magistrates to the 15-member tribunal. He also promoted Diosdado M. Peralta, an appointee of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, to chief justice. Three justices are appointees of Mr. Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno S.C. Aquino III.
Mr. Lopez, a native of Pangasinan province, served as a Court of Appeals magistrate for almost nine years, the high court said.
He took up political science at the University of the Philippines, Diliman and graduated cum laude. He took up law there and passed the bar exams in 1989 with an average of 84.55, it said.
Mr. Lopez entered politics in 1992, winning as a Manila councilor.
In 1998, he served as chief legal consultant to then Health Secretary Felipe Estrella until he was tapped as the country’s first agriculture attaché to Beijing.
He again served as Manila councilor from 2001 to 2006 until his appointment as a city prosecutor in 2006.
During his stint as a prosecutor for more than six years, he instituted reforms such as the computerized system of monitoring cases, the high court said.
Justice Lopez was a partner at the Lopez Rasul Maliwanag Baybay Palaran Law Offices from 1993 to 2006.
He is an educator at various law schools including the UP College of Law, New Era University College of Law and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila College of Law.
Born on Feb. 8, 1963 in Umingan, Pangasinan, he will mandatorily retire on his 70th birthday in 2033, it said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza