Two judges step up to higher court

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Two Davao-based judges were promoted to the Court of Appeals (CA) by President Rodrigo Duterte, according to Malacañang yesterday.

The President appointed Bansalan, Davao del Sur Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Loida Posadas-Kahulugan to fill in the seat left by former Justice Socorro Inting who is now a Commission on Elections commissioner.

Davao City RTC Judge Evalyn Arellano-Morales, on the other hand, replaced former Justice Melchor Quirino Sadang who opted for early retirement last year.

Posadas-Kahulugan and Arellano-Morales beat out several candidates for the CA vacancies who went through screening by the multi-sectoral Judicial and Bar Council.

Their appointments follow the recent appointment of CA Justice Ramon Paul Hernando as the newest associate justice of the Supreme Court.

A San Beda law alumnus, the 52-year-old Hernando will occupy the seat vacated by retired Justice Samuel Martires who was appointed Ombudsman in July. He will serve a term of 18 years and reach the compulsory retirement age of 70 in 2036, making him one of the younger justices of the High Court.

He is Duterte’s sixth SC associate justice pick.

To recall, ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was also 52 years old when she was appointed head of the judiciary.

Hernando was an appeals court justice from 2012 to 2018. Prior to that, he was a San Pablo, Laguna regional trial court judge for two and a half years (2003-2006) and a state prosecutor for five (1998-2003).

He hails from Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, studied literature at the University of Santo Tomas before taking up law in UST and later at the San Beda College of Law. He passed the Bar exam in 1991 with a rating of 80.80 percent.

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