Rosario is newest SC justice

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President Duterte has appointed another appeals magistrate, Ricardo Rosario, as associate justice of the Supreme Court.

Rosario took his oath of office before Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta around 3 p.m. on Friday.

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Witnessing his oathtaking were several Supreme Court justices, Court of Appeals (CA) Presiding Justice Remedios Salazar-Fernando and CA Justice Fernanda Lampas Peralta.

Rosario, chair of the CA’s Ninth Division, seven nominees of the Judicial and Bar Council’s (JBC) to the vacancy created by the retirement of Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr. on Sept. 18.

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The other nominees were CA Justices Ramon Cruz, Japar Dimaampao, Jhosep Lopez, Eduardo Peralta Jr. and Ma. Filomena Singh, and Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez.

Rosario was previously nominated by the JBC for the Supreme Court seats vacated by the retirements of Associate Justices Andres Reyes Jr. and Antonio Carpio, and the elevation of Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin as Chief Justice.

With Rosario’s appointment, there are now 11 justices in the 15-member high court who are Duterte appointees. This excludes Peralta, who, though appointed Chief Justice by Duterte in October last year, was appointed associate justice first by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in January 2009.

This year, the President also appointed Associate Justices Samuel Gaerlan and Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla in January and in July, respectively. He has so far appointed three chief justices.

Duterte has appointed a total of 15 new members of the Supreme Court, four of whom have retired.

Rosario obtained his law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1983 and passed the bar exams the following year.

He started his legal career as a legal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation from 1985 to 1986 after which he served as senior corporate attorney of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.

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In 1994, he was appointed senior assistant city prosecutor of Quezon City, serving until 1997 when he was consecutively named Manila Metropolitan Trial Court judge and Makati City Regional Trial Court judge.

Rosario was appointed to the CA in September 2005. He wrote the CA ruling in 2018 that declined to stop the government’s selection process, which awarded the country’s third telecommunications provider slot to a consortium led by Duterte’s businessman-friend. —With a report from Inquirer Research

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