New SC associate justice does a fist bump Duterte-style and draws flak
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s fist bump bug has caught no less than newly appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Rodil Zalameda.
After taking his oath to become one of the judicial branch’s top officers on Monday, Zalameda posed for a picture with Duterte, Cabinet officials – presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo; Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea; and newly appointed Budget Acting Secretary Wendel Avisado, and Duterte long-time aide and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go doing the President’s signature fist bump.
Their photo circulated on social media – some netizens appreciate it while others think it was inappropriate for a leader of the Supreme Court to do the fist-bump, citing the independence of the judiciary from the executive branch of government.
But a photo opportunity for newly appointed government officials doing the fist-bump, as popularized by Duterte, is not that unusual.
During the proclamation of newly elected senators in May, most of them did the fist- bump, save for Senators Grace Poe and Nancy Binay.
Duterte named Zalameda as Supreme Court associate justice on August 5, replacing associate justice Mariano del Castillo, who left the high tribunal on July 29 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. /kga