Aquino appoints 18 new judges

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PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd has appointed 18 new judges in Zamboanga, Agusan del Norte, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao.

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The appointments are contained in a one-page transmittal letter sent to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno last February 27 but was released to the media just recently, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said on Friday.

The new judges are Kenneth Pamatong Rosal  of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 2 of Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte; Analyn Fernando Ramas-Costanilla of the Regional Trial Court , Branch 30 of Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur; Eduardo Ignacio Ledesma of MTCC Branch 4 of Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur; Francis Libarios Rafil of MTCC, Branch 2, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte; Saidamen Macatanong Gania of MTC Buenavista, Agusan del Norte; and Nelison U. Pajarillo-Salcedo of MTCC Valencia City, Bukidnon.

Also appointed as new judges are Alma Vicada Azanza of RTC, Branch 12, Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental; Nora Batoy Montejo of RTC Branch 14, Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental; Fay Lim Garcia-Sasis of MTCC Branch 4, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental; Eden Crispy Blanco Lasala of MTCC Branch 1, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte; Jimmu Bustillo Boco of MTC, Maco, Compostela Valley; Arlene I. Lirag-Palabrica of RTC Branch 31, Tagum City, Davao del Norte; Gemma Gamala Betonio of MTC , Asuncion, Davao del Norte;  Rowena Apao-Adlawan of RTC Branch 13, Davao City, Davao del Sur; Cheryll Ann C. Chamen-Paronda of 2nd MCTC, Hagonoy-Matanao, Davao del Sur; Mary Sheila Barazon Pestolante of MTC, Sultan Naga, Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte; Alvin Embajador Guntang of MTC Isulan, Sultan Kudarat; and Shariah Circuit Court Judge Palawan Ripors Cayongcat, who will be assigned in Shariff Aguak-Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

The appointees were screened by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC)  prior to their appointments.

The seven-man council, which is constitutionally mandated to screen and vet nominees to the President for vacant posts in the judiciary and the Offices of the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman, is headed by Sereno, with Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima as ex-officio members.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez is the head of the JBC Executive Committee and represents the Retired SC Justice Sector.

Lawyer Jose Mejia representing the academe, retired Court of Appeals Justice Aurora Santiago-Lagman representing the private sector  and lawyer Milagros Fernan-Cayosa from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines are the other regular members of the council.

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