MANILA, PHILIPPINES — On Wednesday, Malacañang announced that the former Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Antonio T. Kho Jr. had been named as a new associate justice of the Supreme Court (SC).
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Kho’s appointment paper on Wednesday, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the acting presidential spokesperson.
“We wish Associate Justice Kho success in the Supreme Court, and we are confident that he will continue to dispense justice to every man, woman, and child with integrity, impartiality, and fairness,” Nograles said in a statement.
The Supreme Court’s public information officer, lawyer Brian Hosaka, also confirmed that the High Court received Kho’s appointment papers on Wednesday afternoon through the Office of Chief Justice, Alexander Gesmundo.
“I confirm that the [SC] through the Office of Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo received this afternoon the appointment papers of former Comelec Commissioner Antonio Kho, Jr. as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines,” Hosaka said.
Kho will fill the vacancy left by former Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang, who resigned from the Supreme Court in early January.
Kho’s nomination was announced more than two weeks after receiving his Comelec retirement rites.
Twelve of the 15 Supreme Court judges are Duterte appointees, with the remaining magistrates — Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa – being Benigno S. Aquino III appointees.
With the retirement of Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe in May, Duterte is expected to fill another seat on the Supreme Court. As a result, the SC would be packed with 13 Duterte appointees by then. – WhatALife!