Justice Peralta is 26th Supreme Court Chief Justice

October 23, 2019

Justice Diosdado M. Peralta was named today by Malacañang as the 26th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

Chief Justice Peralta, who got all seven votes of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), will be sitting as the chief magistrate until he mandatorily retires at the age of 70 on March 27, 2022.

With two and a half decades of judicial service to his credit, Chief Justice Peralta is the most senior in terms of the number of years of service in the Judiciary.

The Chairperson of the SC Third Division, he is also the most senior among the associate justices who applied for the top SC post in terms of tenure in the High Court. He was appointed to the SC in 2009.

He has been the Chairperson of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) since August 2018 where he began as member in 2011.

Likewise, he is Chairperson of the SC Committee on the Revision of the Rules of Court, the committee dubbed as the mother of all committees by his predecessor (Ret.) Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin.

Chief Justice Peralta also served as the Chairperson of both the 2014 Bar Examinations and the Special Shari’ah Bar Examinations.

Born in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Chief Justice Peralta started his career in government service in 1987 when he was appointed Third Assistant City Fiscal of Laoag City. He was assigned to the Prosecutor’s Office in the City of Manila in 1988 and later became the Assistant Chief of the Investigation Division of the Office of the City Prosecutor in the early part of 1994.

He joined the Judiciary in September 1994 when he was appointed as Presiding Judge of Branch 95 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, which was designated as a Special Criminal Court on Heinous Crimes and, later, Drugs Cases. He was promoted to the Sandiganbayan in 2002, and became its Presiding Justice in 2008.

On January 13, 2009, he was named as the 162nd Associate Justice of the SC. He is the third Presiding Justice of the anti-graft court to be appointed to the High Court.

As a prosecutor, he was recognized as the Most Outstanding Public Prosecutor of Manila for the year 1990-1991 by the City of Manila, and the Most Outstanding Public Prosecutor of the City of Manila in 1994 by the Department of Justice. He was also one of the five finalists for Outstanding Public Prosecutor Nationwide, given by the Foundation on Judicial Excellence in 1993.

As a trial court judge, he was awarded a Plaque of Commendation in 1999 by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Quezon City Chapter for his speedy and scholarly disposition of criminal cases. He was also awarded the 1999 Annual Pillars of the Criminal Justice System Award¸ given on the First Founding Anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), and in 2001, he was again awarded by the VACC for his continuous and consistent speedy disposition of criminal cases.

He was conferred the Special Centennial Awards in the Field of Criminal Law, given by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Supreme Court during the Court’s Centennial Celebration in 2001. Likewise, he was a recipient of the Judicial Excellence Awards (Chief Justice Ramon Avanceña Award for Outstanding Regional Trial Court Judge) by the Foundation for Judicial Excellence on June 14, 2002 which, providentially, was the same day as his appointment to the Sandiganbayan.

As a staunch advocate of Continuous Trial in criminal cases, he consciously decided cases within the reglementary periods, and in accordance with law, jurisprudence, rules of procedure and the Constitution. At the time he was promoted to the Sandiganbayan, he was able to dispose of 575 of the 600 cases he had inherited as a trial judge.

During his term as Associate Justice, and later Presiding Justice, the Sandiganbayan registered the most number of cases decided on the merits because of the innovations he introduced, namely: stipulation on the testimony of witnesses, or adoption of affidavits and statement of witnesses as their direct testimony, subject to cross-examination, which were later adopted by other Associate Justices of the Sandiganbayan and  incorporated in the Revised Guidelines for Continuous Trial of Criminal Cases.

His efficiency in case management and advocacy for speedy disposition of cases was again put to test when he became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 2009 and inherited the most number of cases at about 1,128 judicial and administrative cases. Due to sheer diligence and passion for work, he is consistent as one of the top-performers in adjudicating cases, which enabled him to reduce to about 300 cases to date, despite his various committee work and academic collaborations with the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA).   

Justice Peralta is an alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law where he, as a working student, graduated in 1979. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics from the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in October 1974.

Prior to his SC appointment, he was a professor, lecturer, resource person, and Bar reviewer in Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Remedial Law, and Trial Techniques at the UST Faculty of Civil Law, the Ateneo de Manila University, San Beda College of Law, the University of the East, and the University of the Philippines Law Center, among others. He has been a member of the Corps of Professors under the Department of Criminal Law of the PHILJA and remains to be an active lecturer.

Justice Peralta is married to Court of Appeals Associate Justice Fernanda C. Lampas-Peralta, a certified public accountant-lawyer, with whom he has four children: Attorney Dorothy, John Christopher, Timothy John, and John Isaac, who are all accomplished musicians.

For more of Chief Justice Peralta’s background, you may read his curriculum vitae uploaded to the SC website: http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/361/