Two more Duterte appointees join Supreme Court

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 4) — President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed two new justices to the Supreme Court.

Associate Justices Edgardo delos Santos and Mario Lopez took their oath in Malacañang on Tuesday. They replaced retired justices Antonio Carpio and Francis Jardeleza, respectively.

Both Delos Santos and Lopez are former Court of Appeals justices.

Delos Santos was known as the "habal-habal" judge since he would use a motorcycle to transport his family when he was a municipal trial court judge in Dumaguete City.

The Cebu-based Delos Santos was appointed executive justice of the Court of Appeals Visayas station in October 2018. He earned his law degree at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City.

Meanwhile, Lopez got his law degree from the San Beda College and served as executive judge of Batangas before his appointment to the appellate court.

Duterte is expected to appoint one more associate justice to complete the 15-member high court which is now dominated by 11 Duterte appointees, including Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.

Peralta is the third chief magistrate to be appointed by Duterte after the historic ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno. The first two are Teresita Leonardo De Castro, who retired as head of the Supreme Court after a two-month stint, and Lucas Bersamin, who stepped down on October 18 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. Peralta will lead the high court until March 2022.