President Benigno Aquino III has appointed Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Francisco Villaruz presiding justice of the antigraft court.
Villaruz was a member of the Sandiganbayan Special Division that found former President Joseph Estrada guilty of plunder during the Arroyo administration.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said President Aquino signed Villaruz’s appointment on Oct. 5.
“The Aquino administration is hopeful that the reforms it is instituting across all branches of government will gain greater momentum with the appointment of Justice Villaruz,” Lacierda said in a statement on Friday.
“The Filipino people can rest assured that government positions integral to the straight path will continue to be based on merit, integrity and competence,” he added.
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed the two other special division members that convicted Estrada—Teresita de Castro and Diosdado Peralta—as associate justices to the Supreme Court.