Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta, who is set to retire on March 27, said he may return to the teaching profession “which holds a special place in my heart.”
Last December, Peralta told his colleagues in the Supreme Court (SC) of his intention to retire early or one year ahead of his mandatory retirement at age 70 on March 27, 2022.
Last January, the SC, as a full court, granted Peralta’s early retirement.
In his acceptance speech during the conferment on him of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (for the sake of honor) by the Tarlac State University in Tarlac City on Friday, February 19, Peralta said:
“As I prepare to hang my judicial robe, I cannot help but to look back at my life’s work, and feel a more than a modest amount of pride. I will retire without regrets, knowing that I did all that I could for the law, for the courts, and for the nation.
“My experience as a professor of law, a public prosecutor, a trial court judge, and a magistrate of the Sandiganbayan and of the Supreme Court has taught me that the key to success in one’s professional life is exerting one’s best effort in whatever undertaking.
“The truth of the matter is—and people who know me can attest to this—once I commit myself to a certain undertaking, I find myself compelled to exert whatever effort is necessary to learn, to improve, and to be good at my work.
“But I strive to do so not just for my own benefit, but also for the welfare of others.”
Peralta was appointed chief justice on Oct. 23, 2019 by President Duterte. He took over the post from retired Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin.
Before his promotion, Peralta was the head of the SC’s third division, head of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), and chairman of the SC’s committee on the revision of rules.
As Chief Justice, Peralta is the chairman of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) and head of the JBC.
He has been with the judiciary for almost 27 years. He started as a judge of the regional trial court (RTC) in Quezon City in 1994. As a trial court judge, his court was designated a special criminal court for heinous crimes and, later, for illegal drugs cases.
In 2002, he was promoted to the Sandiganbayan. After six years in the anti-graft court, he was promoted as its presiding justice in 2008.
On Jan. 23, 2009, Peralta was named SC associate justice, a post he held until his promotion as Chief Justice in 2019.
Peralta is a native of Laoag City in Ilocos Norte. His career in government service started in 1987 with his appointment as assistant city prosecutor for Laoag City.
In 1988, he was transferred to the prosecutor’s office in Manila where he later became the assistant chief of the investigation division.
Peralta finished his law degree at the University of Santo Tomas in 1979 as a working student. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics from the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in 1974.
He is married to Court of Appeals Senior Associate Justice Fernanda C. Lampas Peralta with whom he has four children – Dorothy who is a lawyer, John Christopher, Timothy John, and John Isaac.