JUST IN: Former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin has Taken Over as PBBM’s Executive Secretary, replacing Vic Rodriguez

Malacaang stated Tuesday that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin to replace Vic Rodriguez as his executive secretary.

For personal reasons, Bersamin, who presently heads the Government Service Insurance System, was appointed when Rodriguez resigned as executive secretary.

Rodriguez’s resignation came on the heels of his involvement in the sugar importation scandal.

While a majority of senators who reviewed the bungled importation cleared Rodriguez of any misconduct, the Senate minority group stated he was not entirely blameless, owing to his refusal to answer agriculture officials’ questions about the planned sugar importation.

Rodriguez represented Marcos in his election protest against former Vice President Leni Robredo and served as his campaign spokeswoman.

He began his legal career as a trial court judge in November 1986, for which he got the Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos Award (Outstanding RTC Judge) in 2002.

He received the Best Decision in Civil Law and Best Decision in Criminal Law awards in 2000.

Bersamin was appointed as an associate justice of the Court of Appeals in March 2003.

On April 2, 2009, then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now a senior deputy speaker in the House of Representatives, named Bersamin to the Supreme Court.

Among the high-profile decisions Bersamin authored while at the SC were the grant of bail to former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile on humanitarian grounds and the judgment maintaining that more than 1,000 Philippine Airlines flight attendants and stewards were not improperly retrenched.

Bersamin also wrote the judgement that ordered Arroyo’s “immediate release” when the court permitted her to contest the evidence against her, resulting in the case being dismissed.

Bersamin also voted to grant the government’s quo warranto petition against then-Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, to uphold the constitutionality of martial law in Mindanao and its one-year extension, to affirm the jurisdiction of a trial court in the drug case against Sen. Leila De Lima, and to allow the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

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