Duterte swears in Bersamin

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte administers the oath of office to newly-appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin during a ceremony at the Malacañan Palace on December 12, 2018. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

New Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin was formally sworn into office by President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday afternoon.

Bersamin, the 25th Chief Justice of the Philippines, was accompanied by his immediate family in the ceremony that took place it Malacañang’s Heroes Hall.

Mr. Duterte chose Bersamin over then acting top magistrate Antonio Carpio as successor to Teresita Leonardo-De Castro who stepped down from government service last 8 October upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.

With his appointment, Bersamin rose to the highest seat in the Judiciary in his ninth year in the SC. He and Carpio are slated to end their service in the High Court on October 2019.
Aside from Bersamin, Ramon Paul Hernando and Rosmari Carandang also took their oaths as new Associate Justices before their fellow magistrates in the SC and members of the Judicial and Bar Council of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Mr. Duterte also administered the mass oath taking of 49 newly appointed government officials composed mostly of Regional Trial Court judges, state prosecutors and state solicitors.

In his brief message to them, the Chief Executive reminded the officials to “work to preserve the nation and to protect the people.”

Among those who were sworn in to their new positions were former Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board board member and now Civil Service Commissioner Aileen Lizada, former PTV 4 head for news operations and now Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Raquel “Rocky” Tobias, National Anti-Poverty Commission Lead Convener Noel Kinazo Felongco and former journalist and now Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor Chairman Alvin San Juan Feliciano.

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