The new Supreme Court chief justice is Diosdado Peralta replacing Justice Lucas Bersamin who retired on October 18, 2019. He was appointed as the 26th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines by President Rodrigo Duterte on October 23, 2019.
Justice Peralta was appointed SC associate justice by then-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on January 13, 2009. About two months from assumption in office, he penned his first case – an election related case.
For three consecutive terms, Nicasio was elected to the position of Punong Barangay held in 1994, 1997 and 2002. In May 2004, while sitting as the incumbent Punong Barangay, he ran for Municipal Councilor and won. He assumed office and served the full term of the Sangguniang Bayan position, which was until June 30, 2007. Thereafter, Nicasio filed his COC for Punong Barangay in the October 29, 2007 Barangay Elections. Rey, a candidate for the same office, filed before the COMELEC a petition for the disqualification of Nicasio as candidate on the ground that he had already served the three-term limit. Rey contended that Nicasio’s relinquishment of the position of Punong Barangay in July 2004 was voluntary on his part, as it could be presumed that it was his personal decision to run as municipal councilor in the May 14, 2004 National and Local Elections.
In his Answer, Nicasio countered that by reason of his assumption of office as Sangguniang Bayan member, his remaining term of office as Punong Barangay, which would have ended in 2007, was left unserved. He argued that his election and assumption of office as Sangguniang Bayan member was by operation of law; hence, it must be considered as an involuntary interruption in the continuity of his last term of service.
The case went up to the Supreme Court.
Did Nicasio violate the three-term limitation? This question was answered in an en banc case of Nicasio Bolos, Jr. vs. COMELEC and Rey Angeles Cinconigue [CBN 2009-0272] penned by Justice Peralta – his first case as associate justice.