President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Court of Appeals Associate Justice Noel Tijam as a member of the Supreme Court (SC).
Tijam was a classmate of Duterte at the San Beda College of Law. He will replace Associate Justice Arturo Brion who retired in December last year.
Tijam is the second justice Duterte named to the high court. On Monday, the President appointed Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Samuel Martires, also his schoolmate at San Beda, as the 175th Associate Justice of the highest tribunal.
When he was interviewed by the Judicial and Bar Council in November last year, Tijam said he will remain independent in his decisions.
“Presidents do not make any attempt to influence judges and I have never experienced that… Knowing him [Duterte], he’s full of pride, he has a personality, he will be the last person to ask favors in the judiciary,” Tijam said.
Duterte is set to appoint another SC justice this year because Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes will retire on July 6.