MANILA, Philippines – Court of Appeals (CA) associate justice Henri Inting has been named the new Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice. Inting is President Rodrigo Duterte’s 9th SC associate justice appointee. He was appointed to the High Court on Monday, May 27.
He was shortlisted only once under the Duterte administration – in February 2019 to replace Justice Lucas Bersamin, who was appointed Chief Justice in November 2018.
Inting is from Duterte’s hometown of Davao City. He is the younger brother of Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Socorro Inting, who was appointed by Duterte in April 2018.
‘Time is not on my side’
Asked by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) in February 2019 why he applied for the position of SC justice despite the fact that he was not the chairman of any CA division, Inting said that he decided to apply upon the encouragement of the dean of the Ateneo de Davao Law School, Atty Manuel Quibod. Inting studied in Ateneo de Davao.
He also said, “I know that there are more senior members in the CA but I bank on my experience in government.”
Inting was senior corporate attorney of the National Housing Authority in 1983. The next year, in 1984, he was supervising staff assistant in what was then the Intermediate Appellate Court, now the Court of Appeals.
He then served as public attorney from 1986 to 1995, and later as prosecutor at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office. In 1998, he was appointed presiding judge of the Quezon City Municipal Trial Court.
He took oath as Court of Appeals justice in 2012. At the time of his interview before the JBC, Inting was a junior in the 3rd division of the CA.
Finally, Inting also cited age as a reason for his application. Inting was 61 at the time of his JBC interview; SC justices are obliged to retire upon turning 70. “Time is not on my side,” he said before the JBC.
The subject of administrative cases against him also came up during Inting’s JBC interview. He defended himself by saying: “These cases were filed when I was with the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) and knowing the litigants in the MTC, they are almost always disgruntled and every step of the way, if it’s not favorable to them, they would file cases.”
Oscar Moreno case
In 2017, Inting, along with two other CA justices in Mindanao, was accused of committing gross ignorance of the law, grave abuse of authority, gross misconduct, and manifest impartiality, among others, for issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Cagayan de Oro City mayor Oscar Moreno’s dismissal from office.
The CA had issued a TRO to stop the implementation of the Ombudsman’s order to dismiss and perpetually disqualify Moreno from public office after he allegedly entered into a tax settlement agreement with Aijinomoto Philippines in 2013 without the authorization of the city council.
The petition against the 3 CA justices was later dismissed by the SC. – Rappler.com