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Appeals court justice Lopez appointed to SC, seen to serve for more than a decade
Justice Jhosep Y. Lopez is sworn in by Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta as the 190th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court at the En Banc Session Hall on January 26, 2021.
Supreme Court Public Information Office/release

Appeals court justice Lopez appointed to SC, seen to serve for more than a decade

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - January 26, 2021 - 1:51pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Court of Appeals Associate Justice Jhosep Lopez to the Supreme Court, who will potentially be serving the tribunal for more than a decade.

Lopez is taking over the seat vacated by former SC Justice Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla who sought early retirement in November 2020. He completes the 15-member tribunal.

Lopez is turning 58 on February 8 and may be a SC magistrate for the next 12 years.

During his interview with the Judicial and Bar Council in August 2020, Lopez said it is every lawyer’s dream to become an SC justice. He added that he opted to apply to the SC since he deemed there are more qualified CA justices to become the appeals court’s presiding justice.

“There are more seniors than I am who can administer the CA better than I do because, in the case of a presiding justice, you must be mature enough to be able to control and supervise all the 69 justices in the CA,” he said.

Who is Lopez?

Lopez obtained his AB Political Science degree and his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He took his Masters in Public Governance at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.

Before joining the Judiciary, Lopez had served as a legal counsel of the UP Diliman Office of Legal Affairs and later the as chief legal counsel of the UP Manila-Philippine General Hospital Legal Office.

Lopez also served as a councilor of Manila for four terms, from 1992 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2007.

His stint with the government includes working at the legal office of then-Senate President Jovito Salonga, briefly as chief legal consultant of the Department of Health in 1998, deputy city legal office of Manila for half of 2000, then as agriculture attaché to China under the Department of Agriculture from June 2000 to March 2001.

From 1993 to 2006, he was part of the Lopez Rasul Maliwanga Baybay Palaran Offices.

He started working as a Manila city prosecutor in 2006 until his appointment to the appeals court in May 2012.

Lopez teaches Criminal Law and Constitutional Law.

Another seat will open up at the SC when Chief Justice Diosado Peralta steps down on March 27, a year ahead of his mandatory retirement. Duterte will also appoint the next top judge.

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