President Rodrigo Duterte has chosen Sandiganbayan Justice Alexander Gesmundo as the new Supreme Court associate justice, according to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
Gesmundo takes the post of Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Jose Mendoza, who reached the mandatory age of retirement of 70 in the judiciary on August 13.
Thirteen applicants vied for the post.
Gesmundo was the chairman of the Sandiganbayan's 7th Division and co-chaired the Sandiganbayan’s Committee on Rules.
He is the vice-chairperson of the Philippine Judicial Academy’s Department of Remedial Law.
According to the Ateneo website, Gesmundo started government service in the Office of the Solicitor General as Trial Attorney in August 1985.
He was recognized as Most Outstanding Solicitor in 1998, and was eventually promoted to Assistant Solicitor General in August 2002.
He was on Seconded Appointment as Commissioner of the Presidential Commission on Good Government from July 1998 to February 2001.
He was also a member of the Court of Tax Appeals 2004 Committee on Revision of the Rules of the Court of Tax Appeals, and one of the Examiners in Remedial Law in the 2009 Bar Examination.
Gesmundo earlier told the Judicial and Bar Council that there were procedural lapses in the Court of Appeals' (CA) issuance of the writ of habeas corpus in connection with the petition filed by Ilocos Norte officials who were detained by the House of Representatives.
Gesmundo said a preliminary citation order should have been issued first instead of the writ.
"There were procedural lapses," he told the JBC which screens the candidates for the judiciary.
"This is a defect that should be addressed. Under the parameter that there was no order coming from the court, that would be an error. It should be corrected," he added.
He said that the petition for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus was not the proper remedy, and that the petitioners should have filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to question grave abuse of discretion by the concerned House Representatives.