MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has named Court of Appeals Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando as the newest magistrate of the Supreme Court.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, a member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of his position, confirmed this to reporters.

Who is Hernando?

Hernando, like Duterte, is a graduate of the San Beda College of Law.

He also took eight units toward a master’s degree in Business Administration at the Ateneo de Manila University, Graduate School of Business.

Hernando turned 52 last August 27. He would hold the position of an SC justice until 2036, when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.

When he officially joins his colleagues at the SC, he would be the youngest in terms of age.

Hernando started working for the government on October 25, 1991 under the Office of Justice Edgardo Paras of the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

On June 1998, he was appointed State Prosecutor II. He was later named a presiding judge of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court on 2006.

He was appointed a member of the Court of Appeals on February 16, 2010.

Hernando would take over the position vacated by Ombudsman Samuel Martires, who was appointed by Duterte to the Office of the Ombudsman—ahead of the former’s retirement from the SC—last July 26.

JBC interview

Hernando faced the JBC just two weeks ago.

The panel, on September 26, noted that they have interviewed Hernando “extensively” in the past.

Hernando was asked how would he help address inordinate delay of cases, as in the SC, it could not be easily determined when a case will be solved.

He proposed that a “limitation on the use of judicial affidavit” could help, adding that it should not be used on all cases.

Hernando also , where he was asked on his opinion on political decisions.

On grant of Supreme Court’s bail to former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, he said that Supreme Court “might have not erred but may not have been completely accurate” in its ruling to allow the former senator to post bail. Hernando said he has personal reservations, saying “humanitarian” considerations were not specified in the rules of court.  

On the topic of abortion, Hernando said that the act is not allowed by the Constitution. He added that even the use of drugs for abortion is unlawful.