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Arroyo appoints CA Justice Bersamin to high court

MANILA, Philippines – Court of Appeals Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin was appointed by President Macapagal Arroyo to the Supreme Court seat vacated by retired Associate Justice Adolfo Azcuna. This was according to SC spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez, who disclosed the information to reporters on Thursday. Bersamin was among the Judicial and Bar Council’s (JBC) four nominees for the post left by Azcuna in February. The council is the constitutionally-created body that vets, screens, and recommends to the President appointees to the SC. Aside from Bersamin, those included in JBC’s shortlist were CA Associate Justices Martin Villarama and Hakim Abdulwahid, and Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Francisco Villaruz Jr. Bersamin finished law at the University of the East in 1973. He placed ninth at the 1973 Bar examinations. He also served as magistrate at the Quezon City regional trial court in 1986. President Arroyo then appointed him to the appellate court in 2003. One of the high-profile cases Bersamin handled at the CA include the freezing of the bank accounts of former Agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc" Bolante, allegedly the mastermind in the purported diversion of P728 million fertilizer funds to the campaign kitty of President Arroyo in the 2004 elections. - Sophia Dedace and Carlo Lorenzo, GMANews.TV