FAST FACTS: Who is new SC Associate Justice Rodil Zalameda?

Jodesz Gavilan

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FAST FACTS: Who is new SC Associate Justice Rodil Zalameda?
New Supreme Court Associate Justice Rodil Zalameda is a graduate of the Ateneo Law School

MANILA, Philippines – Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Rodil Zalameda is the new Supreme Court (SC) associate justice.

He will replace newly-retired justice Mariano del Castillo. 

Zalameda was chosen by President Rodrigo Duterte over 5 other nominees who have been included in the shortlist various times, including Court Administrator Midas Marqez and CA Justice Japar Dimaampao. 

He himself had never been shortlisted for any SC position before the July 12 shortlist for Del Castillo’s position, based on available documents from the Judicial and Bar Council website. 

Who is Zalameda?  

Zalameda was born on August 2, 1963 and is set to retire in August 2033. 

He was appointed Court of Appeals associate justice in September 2008. Prior to joining the appellate court, he served as city prosecutor in Mandaluyong City.

According to this profile at the CA, Zalameda was a product of the public school system during his primary and secondary education.  

He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of the East, after which he went to the Ateneo Law School for his law degree. There, he worked as associate editor of the Ateneo Law Journal.

Zalameda earned his law degree in 1987 and passed the bar exams in 1988. 

He is part of the Fraternal Order of Utopia in the Ateneo which counts former SC chief justice Renato Corona and Associate Justices Andres Reyes Jr and Alexander Gesmundo as alumni, among others.

Notable cases 

In 2012, Zalameda upheld the dismissal of administrative charges against then-deputy ombudsman Orlando Casimiro stemming from delays in a 15-year-old case related to anomalous transactions of the Philippine Air Force, according to a report by ABS-CBN News. 

In 2015, he penned the CA decision that junked the plea of Tanduay Distillers Incorporated, which was found liable for unfair competition and infringement for using the “Ginebra Kapitan” trademark of Ginebra San Miguel Incorporated.

More recently, Zalameda was part of the CA’s special 11th division that flip-flopped on the issue involving the payment of fees to lawyers – among them ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno – hired by the government for the Piatco case. 

The ruling, which said that the hiring of foreign and local lawyers was “irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant and unconscionable,” was released in June 2018. –

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Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.