The Supreme Court’s newest judges (SC) have taken their oath before Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, leaving only one vacancy to be filled in the coming weeks by President Rodrigo Duterte.
On Thursday, Associate Justice Mario Lopez was sworn in, while Associate Justice Edgardo Delos Santos was sworn in on Friday.
They were accompanied respectively by Francis Jardeleza and Antonio Carpio, who retired last September and October.
Before their nomination to the High Court, both Lopez and Delos Santos were judges of the Court of Appeals (CA). In Manila, Lopez was chairman of the 12th District, while in Cebu, Delos Santos was based.
In 2022, Delos Santos will retire and Lopez will retire in 2025.
Duterte’s 11th and 12th SC associate justice appointees, the two enter a court that is mostly packed with the incumbent president’s picks.
Meanwhile, for December 9 and 18, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) scheduled interviews with applicants for the position of associate justice that Peralta vacated when he became chief justice last October.
Under the Constitution, the president has 90 days to nominate an appointee from the date of the vacancy. He will pick his appointee from the JBC’s shortlist.