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Duterte appoints CA justice Gaerlan to Supreme Court

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Samuel Gaerlan to the Supreme Court, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed on Wednesday, January 8.

Gaerlan obtained his law degree from the San Beda College of Law in 1985. He will replace the associate justice post left vacant following the appointment of Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.

Gaerlan bested other shortlisted nominees who had been repeatedly bypassed for a post on the High Court bench, including Court Administrator Midas Marquez and CA justices Jhosep Lopez, Manuel Barrios, and Eduardo Peralta.

During his interview with the Judicial and Bar Council, which screens nominees to the SC, Gaerlan said though he agreed with Duterte that federalism was necessary for the country, the Philippines was not yet ready for a shift in its system of government.

Gaerlan was one of the concurring justices in the CA's acquittal of businesswoman and alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles in her serious illegal detention case. The CA decision reversed the 2015 conviction of Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150.

Gaerlan was also one of the concurring justices when the CA upheld a local court's decision to allow bail for 16 policemen allegedly involved in the Maguindanao massacre, which left 58 people dead in November 2009.

He hails from La Union. – Rappler.com

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said CA justices Apolinario Bruselas, Japar Dimaampao, and Ramon Garcia were shortlisted. They were not applicants to this vacancy. This has been corrected. 

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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