President Duterte has appointed Court of Appeals Justice Jhosep Lopez as newest member of the Supreme Court, completing the 15-member roster of the High Tribunal.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed on Tuesday the appointment of Lopez as Supreme Court Associate Justice. “Yes,” Medialdea said ia text message when asked to confirm the latest SC appointment by the President.
The appointment paper was signed by the President Monday, according to Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.
Roque, in a televised briefing, said the President expects Justice Lopez will ensure “judicial independence and rule of law” as well as continue the reforms in the court process.
Lopez, a graduate of University of the Philippines, was appointed to the CA back in 2012. He previously served as council of Manila from 2001 to 2006 and chief city prosecutor in 2006.
The President picked Lopez from the shortlist of applicants nominated by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) for the post of Supreme Court justice.
Prior to the appointment of Lopez, the High Court has a lone vacancy after Associate Justice Priscilla Baltazar Padilla who decided retire early last year. The disability retirement of Padilla was approved by the Supreme Court in November 2020.