PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has named a Sandiganbayan associate justice to the Supreme Court, his first appointee, beating the constitutional 90-day period to fill vacancies in the high tribunal.
Malacañang on Monday confirmed that the President has named Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Samuel Martires to one of two Supreme Court vacancies.
Martires, whose appointment papers were signed by the President on March 2, will replace retired Associate Justice Jose Perez, who left his post in December.
The Sandiganbayan magistrate is the first of 12 expected high court appointments during Duterte’s six-year term. The next vacancy to be filled up is the post left by Supreme Court Associate Justice Arturo Brion also in December.
Martires, 68, was appointed Sandiganbayan justice in 2006 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He was a trial court judge in Agoo, La Union before being promoted 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 military comptroller and alleged plunderer Carlos Garcia and the Office of the Ombudsman.