Duterte appoints CA justice Zalameda to Supreme Court

Lian Buan
Duterte appoints CA justice Zalameda to Supreme Court
(UPDATED) Rodil Zalameda beats to the post longtime applicants including Court Administrator Midas Marquez

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Rodil Zalameda to the Supreme Court, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed to Rappler on Monday, August 5.

Zalameda obtained his law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.

Zalameda will replace newly-retired justice Mariano del Castillo.

Zalameda bested 5 other shortlisted nominees who have been repeatedly bypassed for a post on the Supreme Court bench, including Court Administrator Midas Marquez and CA justices Apolinario Bruselas, Japar Dimaampao, and Ramon Garcia.

Zalameda is part of the Fraternal Order of Utopia in the Ateneo. Duterte appointees Associate Justices Andres Reyes Jr and Alexander Gesmundo are also Utopia alumni, along with former house speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. He will retire in 2033.

The Bangsamoro Parliament, the governing body of the newly-created Bangsamoro region, had endorsed Marawi-born Dimaampao to the President.

Zalameda was part of the CA’s special 11th Division that flip-flopped against the payment of fees to government-hired lawyers for the controversial Piatco case, which included ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Zalameda and fellow justices Ramon Bato and Samuel Gaerlan ruled on June 4, 2018, that the hiring of foreign and local lawyers was “irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant and unconscionable” and denied the government claim for $6 million. This ruling came a month after Sereno was ousted. 

A year before this ruling, the CA 17th Division ordered Philippine International Air Terminals Company Incorporated (Piatco) to pay the government $6 million. The amount was the award of an international arbitration court, which the government tried to enforce in local courts. – With a report from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.