Duterte names first SC appointee President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Samuel Martires to the Supreme Court (SC), Malacanang confirmed on Monday.
Martires, whose appointment papers were signed by the President on March 2, will replace Associate Justice Jose Perez who retired in December last year.
During his term, Duterte will appoint 12 SC justices.
Martires, 68, was appointed Sandiganbayan justice in 2006 by then president Gloria Arroyo.
He was a trial court judge in Agoo, La Union before he was elevated to the anti-graft court. He obtained his law degree from San Beda College, the alma mater of Duterte and some Cabinet members like Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
Martires penned the controversial Sandiganbayan decision that approved the plea bargain deal entered into by retired Major General Carlos Garcia who was accused of plunder and the Office of the Ombudsman.
Martires said he was thankful for the appointment but that news of his new post has yet to sink in.
“I thank the Lord for the blessing He has showered me, I just hope He will continue to bless me,” Martires told reporters.
“I’ve been in lots of pressure, I just hope that the Lord will guide me, I hope the Lord will give me the strength and health I need, a sound mind and body to help me in my work at the Supreme Court,” he said.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE and REINA TOLENTINO