File photo shows Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta.
Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas
Duterte names Peralta as new chief justice
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - October 23, 2019 - 3:20pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:38 p.m.) — President Rodrigo Duterte has named Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta as the new chief justice.

Supreme Court spokesperson Brian Hosaka confirmed this in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Peralta takes over the seat vacated by former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, who retired from the tribunal last week.

RELATED: Who's Who: The four vying to be the next chief justice

Most senior in terms of experience

Peralta is the most senior in terms of SC experience among the four aspirants. He has been serving the SC for more than a decade. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed him to the high court on Jan. 13, 2009.

Peralta, who hails from Ilocos Norte, started his career in government as an assistant city fiscal in Laoag City in 1987.

In 1994, Peralta was appointed as a criminal court judge in Quezon City. Among the cases he handled were heinous crimes and drug-related cases. During his stint as a judge, he received several commendations.

Peralta has served as professor and Bar reviewer on Criminal Law.

He also sat as chairperson of the 2014 Bar Examinations and the Special Shari’ah Bar Examinations.

Marcos burial decision

Bersamin told members of the media on September 4 that Peralta was of significant help in leading the committee on revision of Rules of Court.  Peralta also led the adoption of the 2019 Guidelines on the Use of Videoconferencing Technology for Remote Court Appearance or Testimony of Persons Deprived of Liberty in Jails and National Penitentiaries which was pilot tested in Davao City.

Peralta penned the SC ruling that allowed the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Facing the JBC panel in 2018, Peralta stood by his ruling and said: “If we do not bury that issue, then we cannot move on and I still believe that whatever is the past, we have to move on. We will not improve as a nation if we do that.”

READ: Marcos burial brought closure and unity, Peralta claims

‘I deserve to be chief justice’

Facing the JBC panel on October 2, Peralta shared that he has been receiving criticism for not being a Bar topnotcher or an honor student.

"If I remember what I have experienced since I started working, it’s hard. I think I deserve to be chief justice because I worked hard," he said, his voice breaking.

A teary Peralta said his work experiences “are more than enough to compensate with what they say that I do not deserve because I’m not a topnotcher or I’m not an honor student.” 

“I hope you have to take those into consideration that there is hope for an individual like me,” Peralta added.

Peralta will remain as the head of the Judiciary until March 27, 2022, when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.

RELATED: Peralta: I’m not a bar topnotcher but I deserve to be chief justice

CHIEF JUSTICE DIOSDADO PERALTA SUPREME COURT
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