Duterte appoints Gesmundo as Chief Justice, trusts he will uphold judicial excellence, independence

Published April 5, 2021, 12:52 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has appointed Associate Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo as the country’s new Chief Justice and counted on him to uphold judicial independence and professionalism.

Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo
(Supreme Court website / FILE PHOTO)

Gesmundo will serve as the country’s 27th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, taking the place of Diosdado Peralta who retired early last month. He first secured a seat in the High Tribunal as Associate Justice in August 2017.

“The Palace confirms the President has signed the appointment of former Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo as new Chief Justice of Supreme Court,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in Filipino during a televised press briefing Monday.

Roque noted Gesmundo was not new in the judiciary, citing his years of service as Associate Justice in the Supreme Court as well as Associate Justice in the Sandiganbayan.

“Because of this, we trust the new Chief Justice to uphold the judicial excellence and independence, enforce the rule of law, and pursue reforms to strengthen integrity and professionalism in the judiciary,” he said.

Before his appointment to the SC in 2017, Gesmundo served as Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan. He was appointed to the post in October 2005.

Gesmundo, a law graduate from Ateneo de Manila University, joined the government in August 1985 as a trial lawyer in the Office of the Solicitor General. By 2002, he was named Assistant Solicitor General. 

He is expected to serve as the country’s top magistrate until he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 on November 6, 2026.