Supreme Court of the Philippines

Duterte picks Jhosep Lopez for Supreme Court justice

Pia Ranada
Duterte picks Jhosep Lopez for Supreme Court justice

HIGH COURT. The Supreme Court of the Philippines on June 19, 2018. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Lopez fills the vacancy left by Associate Justice Priscilla Baltazar Padilla, who opted for early retirement

President Rodrigo Duterte has picked Court of Appeals Justice Jhosep Lopez to be Supreme Court Associate Justice, completing the 15-seat bench of the High Court.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed Lopez’s appointment to Rappler on Tuesday, January 26.

Lopez fills the vacancy left by Associate Justice Priscilla Baltazar Padilla, who opted for early retirement.

With his appointment of Lopez, Duterte continues his pattern of choosing high court nominees young enough to stay in their post beyond his presidency. Lopez is set to retire in February 2033 yet, or 12 years from now.

Before his time in the CA, Lopez was Manila Chief City Prosecutor starting in February 2006. Before then, he was councilor of Manila’s 3rd District from 1992 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2006.

The new SC justice is an alumnus of the University of the Philippines Diliman, graduating cum laude from there with a Political Science degree. He went to law school in the same universiy in 1984.

In March, there will be a new vacancy in the Supreme Court when Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta retired ahead of his mandatory retirement. This will give Duterte yet another chance to pick a new chief justice ahead of the 2022 elections. – With reports from Lian Buan/Rappler

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.