MALACAÑANG has promoted the judge who notarized the certificate of candidacy of the late action king Fernando Poe Jr. in the 2004 presidential election.
In an appointment letter dated Nov. 28, 2017 but released only Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Antipolo Regional Trial Court Judge Kevin Narce Vivero as associate justice of the Sandiganbayan.
Vivero takes the place of Associate Justice Samuel Martires, the first appointee of Duterte to the SC in March last year.
Duterte last made an appointment in the Sandiganbayan in December last year when he promoted Makati City RTC Judge Maryann Corpus-Mañalac, who earlier ordered Sunvar Realty Development Corp. to vacate the Mile Long property in August.
Meanwhile, Duterte has appointed Jose Arturo Garcia Jr. as permanent general manager of the Metro Manila Development Authority, replacing Thomas Orbos who was moved to the Transportation department as undersecretary.
Garcia was previously the agency’s acting general manager and assistant general manager for planning.
“I would like to thank President Duterte for his trust and confidence on the leadership of MMDA chairman Danilo Delapuz Lim. My appointment as general manager would only mean continuing the reforms and improved services that the chairman and I have started in the MMDA,” said Garcia in a text message.
“Together, we can hope for more positive changes in Metro Manila,” added Garcia.
Lim initially designated Garcia as the agency’s officer-in-charge for the Office of the Assistant General Manager for Planning and concurrent Chief of Staff of the Office of the Chairman in May last year.
Aside from Garcia, Lim also appointed in May his five other trusted men to the agency namely — Michael Salalima, Deputy Chief of Staff and Spokesperson (Office of the Chairman); Gen. Joe Campo, Deputy for Planning; Gen. Roberto Almadin, OIC for Operations (Traffic, Flood Control, and Solid Waste); lawyer Romando Artes, OIC for the Office of the Assistant General Manager for Finance and Administration, and Vic Pablo Trinidad, OIC for Legal Services.
Late last year, Garcia came under fire for making a “bad joke” that journalists who would write negative stories about the agency would become the subject of “tokhang,” a campaign being enforced by the government against suspected drug dealers and dependents.
The President also recently named 17 new judges in various trial courts, including the daughter of SC Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin.
Pia Cristina Bersamin-Embuscado, a product of the University Santo Tomas law school, was appointed as judge for Las Piñas City RTC branch 198.
Also appointed was Catherine Therese Tagle-Salvador, daughter of retired Court of Appeals justice and former poll commissioner Lucenito Tagle. She was assigned to Malabon RTC Branch 73.
Two prosecutors were likewise appointed as judges -- Misael Ladaga to Malabon RTC and Ma. Rowena Violago Alejandria to Caloocan RTC.
Two other new judges were appointed to Malabon RTC - Anna Michella Atanacio-Veluz and Josie Negros Rodil.
The Palace also designated six new judges to Makati RTC: Redentor dela Cruz Cardenas, Augusto Jose Arreza, Rosario Ester Orda-Caise, Ricardo Moldez II, Giovanni Vidal and Ma. Caridad Villamor-Yee -- and three to Manila RTC: Caroline Tobias, Cynara Hannah Cayton and Renato Enciso.
Rhodora Gines Arrocena have been appointed as judge of Metropolitan Trial Court in Buguey, Cagayan; and Edwina Belcina Monceda as judge of Metropolitan Trial Circuit Court in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental.
The latest appointments in the judiciary were contained in a transmittal letter from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea received by the SC last April 19.