Duterte appoints Court of Appeals justice Zalameda to Supreme Court


MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Judge Rodil Zalameda to the Supreme Court of Appeals (CA), a High Court ranking source reported to Rappler on Monday, August 5. Zalameda graduated from the University of Ateneo de Manila with a law degree.

Zalameda will substitute Mariano del Castillo, a newly retired judge.

Zalameda ran over five other shortlisted nominees who were constantly bypassed for a Supreme Court bench post, including court administrator Midas Marquez and CA judges Apolinario Bruselas, Japar Dimaampao, and Ramon Garcia.

The Parliament of Bangsamoro, the governing body of the newly created region of Bangsamoro, had supported the president of Marawi-born Dimaampao.

Zalameda was part of the 11th special division of the CA that flip-flopped against paying taxes to government-hired attorneys for the contentious Piatco case, which included Maria Lourdes Sereno, the former chief justice.

On June 4, 2018, Zalameda and fellow judges Ramon Bato and Samuel Gaerlan ruled that hiring foreign and local lawyers was “irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant and unconscionable” and denied $6 million in government claims. This decision came a month after the ousting of Sereno.

The CA 17th Division instructed Philippine International Air Terminals Company Incorporated (Piatco) to pay 6 million dollars to the government a year before this decision. The sum was an global arbitration court prize that the government attempted to implement in local courts.

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