MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Noel Tijam as Supreme Court (SC) associate justice.
This was confirmed to Rappler by a Palace official close to the President on Wednesday, March 8.
Tijam’s signed appointment paper says he is replacing SC Associate Justice Arturo Brion who retired last December 29.
Signed appointment paper of new SC Justice Noel Tijam from Malacañang pic.twitter.com/eq22Wo7t9U— Pia Ranada (@piaranada) March 8, 2017
Tijam is the second SC justice to be appointed by Duterte. The appointment of Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Samuel Martires was announced last Monday, March 6. (READ: Get to know Duterte’s first Supreme Court appointee Samuel Martires)
Tijam and Duterte were classmates at the San Beda College of Law.
This close connection to the President was among the issues raised when Tijam faced the Judicial and Bar Council in November 2016. (READ: CA justice: Duterte will be the last person to ask favors from judiciary)
Asked how he would be able to maintain his independence, Tijam cited how he had previously issued rulings against two former presidents.
In 2013, he wrote the CA decision affirming the constitutionality of former president Benigno Aquino III’s revocation of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s so-called “midnight appointments,” revoking almost 600 appointments.
The 68-year-old Tijam will have only two years as SC magistrate before he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70. – Rappler.com
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