IN THE KNOW: Who is Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin?
Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, 69, began serving on the Supreme Court on April 3, 2009, after then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed him to the high court as associate justice.
Before his promotion to the highest court, Bersamin was an associate justice on the Court of Appeals, serving there since March 2003.
He graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He took up law at the University of the East, completing the course in 1973 and placing ninth in the bar examinations that year.
Bersamin practiced law from 1974 as a partner in the Purugganan, Lizardo and Bersamin Law Office until his appointment by then President Corazon Aquino in November 1986 as judge on the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 96. He was then 37, making him the youngest RTC judge in Metro Manila.
In 2002, the Foundation for Judicial Excellence recognized Bersamin as Outstanding RTC Judge and gave him the Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos Award for Judicial Excellence.
Bersamin belongs to a political clan in Bangued, Abra. He is the younger brother of Abra Rep. Luis Bersamin Jr., who was shot dead in Quezon City in December 2006.
Bersamin was the chair of the 2017 bar examination. In 2008, he was the bar examiner in remedial law.
Among the cases decided by the Supreme Court in recent years, Bersamin voted in August 2015 to grant bail to then Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile in the pork barrel scam, allow Sen. Grace Poe to run for President in 2016, dismiss plunder charges against Arroyo in July 2016, allow the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani in November 2016, extend martial law in Mindanao indefinitely in February, direct the Office of the Solicitor General to submit the drug war reports of the Philippine National Police in April, and grant the Duterte administration’s quo warranto petition to sack then Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Bersamin voted against Sen. Leila de Lima’s petition to quash drug charges against her in October 2017.
Bersamin will turn 70 on Oct. 18, 2019. —INQUIRER RESEARCH
SOURCE: INQUIRER ARCHIVES
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