Ramon Paul Hernando

I'm no 'midnight appointee' – justice

I’m no ‘midnight appointee’ – justice
By Delon Porcalla
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – A newly appointed justice of the Court of Appeals (CA) defended his appointment by President Arroyo, saying there was nothing irregular in his designation, as well as those of other magistrates in the appellate court.

Justice Ramon Paul Hernando stressed there was nothing sinister in the appointments that have been described as “midnight appointments.”

“It’s unfair insofar as our appointments to the CA is concerned,” said Hernando, who was named to the CA along with fellow magistrates Eduardo Peralta Jr. and Myra Fernandez.

He said their appointment to the CA could not be classified as midnight appointments since their papers were signed as early as Feb. 16.

Hernando served as judge of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court while Peralta and Fernandez came from the Manila Regional Trial Court.

The three new CA justices took their oath of office on March 10, a day before the election appointment ban.

SC spokesman Midas Marquez, who also serves as court administrator in a concurrent capacity, has vouched for the validity of the appointments of the three CA justices, saying these were not covered by the ban on midnight appointments.

Hernandez, 43, is the youngest among the CA justices and is the third youngest jurist to be appointed in the appellate court’s history – after Chief Justice Reynato Puno and Justice Japar Dimaampao who were both appointed CA justices at age 40.

Critics have slammed Mrs. Arroyo for making a slew of appointments to the judiciary and other government agencies.