Duterte urged to appoint Muslim magistrate to SC
MANILA, Philippines — Muslim lawmakers are lobbying for the appointment of the second Muslim magistrate in the Supreme Court, saying the time is ripe for Moro representation at the highest tribunal in the land.
Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman, along with six of his Muslim colleagues at the House of Representatives, issued a statement on Monday to rally behind the bid of Marawi City-born Court of Appeals Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao to replace Justice Mariano del Castillo, who retired in July.
“It is high time that another Muslim join the high court bench,” Hataman said.
The Basilan representative said Dimaampao would be the second Muslim to be appointed to the Supreme Court after Abdulwahid Bidin, who was appointed by then President Corazon Aquino in 1987.
Dimaampao, who has been in the appellate court for 15 years, is one of six applicants shortlisted by the Judicial and Bar Council for the post.
Endorsed by BARMM
He has also received an endorsement from the newly formed Bangsamoro parliament in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Hataman noted that it had been three decades since a Muslim donned the robes of a Supreme Court justice.
“That is how long we have been waiting for a Muslim magistrate in the high bench. And we believe that Associate Justice Dimaampao is competent, qualified and possesses both the moral and legal authority to sit as a member of the SC,” he added.
Hataman was joined in his call by other Muslim lawmakers.
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