Former Chief Justice Bersamin now Marcos’s Executive Secretary

Former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin talks to reporters at the Supreme Court in Manila, the Philippines on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin talks to reporters at the Supreme Court in Manila, the Philippines on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Lucas Bersamin, retired Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice, took his oath on Tuesday (September 27) to become the new executive secretary of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., replacing the now Chief of Staff Vic Rodriguez.

As soon as his appointment was official, he joined his first cabinet meeting, according to Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles.

“He began his duties immediately by attending the 9th cabinet meeting right after swearing in,” she said.

Bersamin was appointed by former president Rodrigo Duterte as head of the Supreme Court in 2018, where he served for under a year. He was succeeded by Diosdado Peralta, predecessor of current Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.

Retiring from his SC tenure, Duterte then placed him as chairperson of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), where managed the agency for the remaining term of Jesus Clint Aranas.

He was appointed by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2003 as an associate justice for the Court of Appeals (CA). Six years later, he was again appointed by Arroyo, this time in the high court.

While SC associate justice, Bersamin voted in favor of the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery), the acquittal of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s plunder case, and the quo warranto petition against former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

As chief justice, he ruled in favor of extending Martial Law in Mindanao for a third time, a move condemned by several progressive groups protesting against heightened militarization in the island region.

The retired chief justice hails from the University of the East (UE) College of Law.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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