Peralta takes oath as new Chief Justice

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 24 2019 09:09 PM | Updated as of Oct 24 2019 09:28 PM

New Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta takes his oath before President Rodrigo Duterte. Photo courtesy of Sen. Bong Go

MANILA - Newly appointed Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta took his oath Thursday before President Rodrigo Duterte as the country's 26th chief magistrate.

Peralta, who was appointed Wednesday, replaced his friend Lucas Bersamin at the high tribunal’s helm. Bersamin retired on Oct. 18.

During the oath-taking ceremonies in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte asked Peralta to ensure that the Supreme Court is characterized by “fairness and truth” under his watch.

“That every citizen be treated equal before the law regardless of the status in life,” Panelo said.

During his interview with the Judicial and Bar Council early this month, Peralta told the panel while fighting back tears: “I deserve to be Chief Justice because I worked very hard all these years.”

Peralta was appointed to the high court in January 2009. Previously, he was a Sandiganbayan associate and presiding justice from 2002 to 2008. In both instances, he was appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

A native of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, he graduated from the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law in 1979 and worked in the private sector before he joined the government as an assistant city prosecutor in 1987.

In 1994, he was appointed regional trial court judge in Quezon City, where he became close friends with Bersamin.

Peralta is expected to stay as head of the judiciary until March 2022.