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Duterte appoints new Supreme Court justice


PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed the Supreme Court administrator as its new magistrate, according to the tribunal’s spokesman.

Jose Midas P. Marquez, 55, will replace Justice Edgardo L. de los Santos, court spokesman Brian Keith F. Hosaka told reporters in a Viber group message on Tuesday. He was appointed on Sept. 27, he said.

Twelve of the High Court’s magistrates are now Duterte appointees.

Mr. Marquez’s appointment brings to six the tribunal’s justices who came from the Ateneo de Manila University Law School, the Jesuit-run university said in a Facebook post. Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo also came from Ateneo.

Mr. Marquez held various positions at the tribunal since his career started in 1991. He once served as its spokesman.

He had been applying for the post since 2017. In 2018, Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio opposed Mr. Marquez’s application, accusing him of meddling in a disbarment case against her.

Mr. Marquez had asked complainants to withdraw their complaints, she said in a sworn statement sent to the Judicial and Bar Council.

The disbarment case against Ms. Carpio was filed in 2011 after she punched a court sheriff who insisted on demolishing houses inside a contested property in Davao City.

Meanwhile, Mr. Duterte named Cabinet Secretary Karlos Alexei B. Nograles as his new spokesman after Herminio L. Roque, Jr. filed his candidacy for senator.

“You can be the acting spokesperson until we find a replacement,” he told a taped Cabinet meeting in mixed English and Filipino. “I don’t want to burden you with so much work. I know you have to deal with a lot of paperwork.”

Mr. Nograles, 45, heads an inter-agency task force against hunger. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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