Rodrigo Duterte has appointed his classmate to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
In a transmittal letter to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea announced the appointment of retired Pasig Regional Trial Court Judge Toribio Elises Ilao Jr.
Ilao has been described as the "boxing buddy" of Duterte during their days at the San Beda College of Law.
Ilao is set to replace retired Court of Appeals Justice Santiago-Lagman who stepped down last July 9, representing the JBC Private Sector.
"Pursuant to the provisions of Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution and existing laws, you are hereby nominated Member, Representing the Private Sector, Judicial and Bar Council, Supreme Court of the Philippines, for a term expiring on 09 July 2020," the appointment paper of Ilao reads.
Ilao and Duterte are members of the San Beda College of Law Class 1971. However, Duterte finished law the following year.
The seven-man council, which is constitutionally mandated to screen and vet nominees to the President for vacant posts in the judiciary and the Offices of the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman, is chaired by Chief Justice Sereno, with ex-officio members, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguierre II, along with the legislative branch namely Senator Leila De Lima and Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali, who shall have a term sharing seat in the JBC.
Retired SC Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez is the head of the Executive Committee representing the Retired SC Justice Sector. Lawyer Jose Mejia represents the Academe and Milagros Fernan-Cayosa, of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, as the other regular members of the JBC.