President Duterte has appointed Court of Appeals Justice Jhosep Lopez as the 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 in 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.
Associate Justice Jhosep Y. Lopez took his oath of office Tuesday afternoon, January 26, before Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta.
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 the University of the Philippines, was appointed to the CA back in 2012. He previously served as councilor of Manila from 2001 to 2006 and chief city prosecutor in 2006, until he was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2012.
He was an agriculture attache assigned in China in 2000 until 2001.
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 had a lone vacancy after Associate Justice Priscilla Baltazar Padilla whose disability retirement was approved by the Supreme Court in November 2020.
Born on February 8, 1963, Lopez is expected to serve the SC until his mandatory retirement in 2033.