Aquino names Leonen as new SC justice

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04:06 PM November 21st, 2012

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November 21st, 2012 04:06 PM

President Benigno Aquino III administers the oath of office of the newly appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Marvic Leonen at the President’s Hall at Malacañang on Wednesday. PHOTO/ MALACAÑANG PHOTO BUREAU

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday appointed government’s chief peace negotiator Marvic Leonen as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

With his appointment, Leonen has become the youngest member of the high tribunal this century. Leonen will be turning 50 on December 29.

Before Leonen, the youngest to be appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court was Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. She was 50 when she joined the high court in 2010. Sereno was born in 1960.

Leonen will fill the position vacated by Sereno after she was appointed Chief Justice last August.

He was credited for crafting the framework peace agreement between the Aquino government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. He has been the head of the peace panel since 2010.

Prior to his stint as head of the Philippine peace panel, Leonen served as dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law.

Leonen graduated magna cum laude from the UP School of Economics in 1983 and obtained his law degree in the same state university in 1987. He became a member of the Bar when he signed the Roll of Attorneys on May 28, 1988.

Leonen also co-founded the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center Inc.-Kasama sa Kalikasan, a legal and policy research and advocacy institution focusing on giving legal services to the poor and indigenous communities.

Leonen will stay at the Supreme Court for 20 years or up to 2032.

He is the 172nd Justice of the Supreme Court and the second youngest in the history of the Supreme Court to be appointed Associate Justice under the age of 50. The youngest was the late Chief Justice Manuel Moran who was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court in 1938 at age 45.

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