By Rey G. Panaligan
President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Samuel R. Martires as Supreme Court (SC) associate justice.
Martires, the President’s first appointee in the 15-member SC, filled the post vacated last December 14 with the retirement of Justice Jose Portugal Perez.
In a statement, the SC said: “The Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court welcome the Hon. Samuel R. Martires as the Court’s 175th Associate Justice and its newest member. Justice Martires’ appointment dated 2 March 2017 was received by the Office of the Chief Justice today, 6 March 2017.”
Martires was one of the five nominees submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to the President for appointment to replace Perez.
Under Article VIII, sec. 4, par. 1 of the 1987 Constitution, the President has 90 days from the date of the vacancy to appoint a replacement selected from the JBC nominees.
The President is expected to appoint 11 more SC justice during his six-year term.
On July 6, 2017, SC Associate Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes will retire at age 70. The JBC has announced its opening for applicants to Reyes’ post.
Martires’ appointment released by Malacanang stated:
“Pursuant to the provision of existing laws, you are hereby appointed ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT OF THE PHILIPPINES, vice Jose P. Perez. By virtue hereof, you may qualify and enter upon the performance of the duties of the office, furnishing this Office and the Civil Service Commission with copies of your oath of office.”