President Rodrigo Duterte advised newly-installed Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta to make sure that “fairness and truth” prevail in the Supreme Court (SC).
Duterte made the call when he administered the oath-taking of Peralta as Chief Justice at Malacañang Palace on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo said the President wants Peralta to lead the fair implementation of the country’s laws.
“In the oath-taking of (Chief Justice) Peralta this afternoon in Malacañang, [President Duterte] told him that all he asks is that the SC under his watch should be characterized with fairness and truth,” the Palace official said.
“(The President wants) that every citizen be treated equal before the law regardless of the status in life,” he added.
Peralta was sworn in as the country’s top magistrate a day after the President signed his appointment paper.
He took the place of former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 on October 18.
Peralta will serve as Chief Justice until March 27, 2022.
Peralta is the most senior magistrate among Senior Associate Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Andres Reyes Jr., the two other candidates earlier endorsed by the Judicial and Bar Council to lead the Supreme Court.
Peralta was an associate justice of the Supreme Court before assuming the top post at the high tribunal.
As a Supreme Court associate justice, Peralta penned the November 2016 ruling that upheld the legality of the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.
He was also one of the magistrates who voted in favor of the ouster of former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in May 2018, as well as of the granting of retroactive application of Republic Act 10592 or the Expanded Good Conduct Time Allowance in June 2019. (PNA)