Woman judge is Duterte’s first judicial appointee in Davao

Editha Caduaya
Judge Jill Rose Jaugan-Lo, the new judge at the Davao City Regional Trial Court Branch 14, administered Duterte's oath as Davao mayor in 2013

FIRST JUDICIAL APPOINTEE IN DAVAO. In this file photo, Judge Jill Rose S. Jaugan-Lo (L) administers the oath of office to then-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (R) of Davao City, June 30, 2013.  Photo from the Davao City Information Office

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The judge who administered the oath to then Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in 2013 has become the first judicial appointee of the President in the Davao region.

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Judge Jill Rose Jaugan-Lo as judge of the Davao City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 in August – more than 3 years after her first meeting with the then mayor.

“I guess [I was appointed because] I was among the first few people who applied for a position after President Duterte was elected,” she said, responding to questions.

Lo also credited her own track record. “I was not involved in any controversy or malicious issues; I just work as a public servant,” she said.

Lo said she wants to personally thank Duterte for being his first judicial appointee in the Davao region. It seemed that she was unable to do this when it was Duterte’s turn to administer the oath to her and other new judicial appointees in Malacañang.

“If I have the chance, I will personally thank the President for being the first judge to get appointed from Davao region,” she said. 

First meeting

Lo said her first meeting with Duterte was at his 2013 oath taking. “I first met him the day I administered his oath on June 30, 2013,” Lo said.

APPOINTMENT. The appointment paper signed by President Duterte.

She recalled that two days before that oath taking in Davao City, she received a call from Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Duterte’s trusted aide who is now Special Assistant to the President. He informed her that she had been requested to administer the oath to the city mayor.

“I was surprised but I couldn’t ask, ‘Why me?’ Later that day, my husband, Andy, who is a friend of Bong Go, told me the Mayor was looking for a lady judge to administer his oath,” she added.

The day she took her oath as an RTC judge in Malacañang, Lo said she wondered “if the President still recognized me because there were many of us who took part in taking our oath before him.”

Lo, who graduated from the Ateneo de Davao Law School, started her journey in public service after passing the bar examinations in 2001.

Her first job was as a lawyer at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Region XI from 2002 to 2006.

In 2006, she resigned from the CHR to work as the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court Branch 33 (family court) from 2006 to 2009. In mid-2009, she was appointed as Municipal Circuit Court judge. – Rappler.com