Two magistrates of the Court of Appeals have been appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to fill in the vacancies at the Supreme Court, separate sources said on Tuesday.
Associate Justice Edgardo delos Santos of the CA in Cebu and Associate Justice Mario Lopez will take over the seat vacated by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio
and Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza
, who retired last September and October, respectively.
Delos Santos and Lopez would be the President’s 11th and 12th appointed associate justices of the Supreme Court.
Delos Santos was known as the “habal-habal” justice from his days transporting his family around on a motorcycle even when he was already a judge in Dumaguete.
Delos Santos, a Cebu-based appellate court magistrate, earned his bachelor of laws degree from the University of San Carlos in Cebu.
He initially served as a municipal trial court judge in Dumaguete and later became a regional trial court judge in Bacolod before his appointment to the appellate court.
Delos Santos rose from the ranks spanning four decades of government service, starting out as a legal researcher until he became magistrate of the appellate court.
During his public interview before the Judicial and Bar Council, Delos Santos said he would like to end his judicial career with a stint in the 15-member bench.
In one of his latest interviews with JBC, Lopez, who like Delos Santos applied and shortlisted several times in the past for the SC post, took the position that it is the President’s prerogative to allow Chinese nationals to fish within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea.
Lopez, a native of La Union, finished his law degree at the San Beda College and graduated cum laude. He later took his master of laws at the University of Santo Tomas.
He served as prosecutor of the Tanodbayan, now known as the office of the Ombudsman in 1985 and became the executive judge of Batangas City in 1997 before his appointment to the Court of Appeals.