MANILA – Less than 24 hours since the shortlisted names were sent to him, President Rodrigo Duterte chose Teresita Leonardo-de Castro as the new Supreme Court Chief Justice.
Department of Justice secretary and Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) member Menardo Guevarra confirmed De Castro’s appointment as the new Chief Magistrate on Saturday afternoon.
“The appointment of Teresita Leonardo-de Castro as chief justice is a fitting finale to her illustrious career in both the Department of Justice and the judiciary,” Guevarra said in a statement.
Duterte chose De Castro over other two candidates – associate justices Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin.
De Castro’s appointment papers will be formalized by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Aug. 28.
De Castro’s reign as Chief Justice will just be short-lived as she is set to retire on Oct. 8 but she claims that the short term will not be hindrance for her to be productive.
“I believe I can still accomplish a lot in two months. It’s not as if I’m going to start today,” said De Castro.
De Castro has been with the high court since 2007 when she was appointed by former president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Prior to that, she has worked at the DOJ and Sandiganbayan.
When De Castro retires in October, the next five senior justices in Peralta, Bersamin, Antonio Carpio, Mariano del Castillo, and Estela Perlas Bernabe will automatically be nominated./PN