President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed anti-graft court justice Alexander Gesmundo as associate justice of the Supreme Court (SC).
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed the appointment of Gesmundo–who will assume the post because of the retirement of SC Associate Justice Jose Mendoza–in a message to reporters on Monday.
Prior to his appointment to the High Court, Gesmundo served as the chairman of the Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division and the Sandiganbayan’s Committee on Rules.
Gesmundo obtained his law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) School of Law (1984) and later earned his economics degree from the Lyceum of the Philippines.
He is the vice chairman of the Philippine Judicial Academy’s Department of Remedial Law, according to a profile provided by ADMU.
The profile said Gesmundo started his government career in August 1985 as a trial attorney under the Office of the Solicitor General.
He was then feted as the Most Outstanding Solicitor in 1998 and was eventually promoted to Assistant Solicitor General in August 2002.
Gesmundo also served as a member of the Court of Tax Appeals and the Committee on Revision of the Rules of the CTA in 2004.
He is the second Sandiganbayan justice whom President Duterte appointed to the High Court after Samuel Martires, who was appointed last March.
Gesmundo is already the third Supreme Court justice appointed by the President after Martires and former Court of Appeals Associate Justice Noel Tijam.
Duterte would still be able to appoint at least eight more Supreme Court justices since eight justices are scheduled to retire during his administration.
These justices set to retire as they hit 70 years of age include Presbitero Velasco Jr. and Justice Teresita
Leonardo-de Castro (2018); Antonio Carpio, Mariano del Castillo, Francis Jardeleza and Lucas Bersamin (2019); and Diosdado Peralta and Estela Perlas-Bernabe (2022).
By the end of his term in June 2022, President Duterte would have appointed 11 of the 15 magistrates of the High Court.