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Francisco Villaruz is new Presiding Justice of Sandiganbayan
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III has appointed Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Francisco H. Villaruz Jr. as the new Presiding Justice of the anti-graft court.

In a statement, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Justice Villaruz's appointment papers were signed by the President last October 5.

Villaruz will replace Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Edilberto Sandoval who retired last June.

Justice Villaruz worked in the private sector for almost four decades before being appointed Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan in 2001. He is known for his professionalism and diligence, proof of which are the six decisions and 100 resolutions that he renders every month, and his 99 percent affirmance rating. A respected expert in his field, Justice Villaruz was also Bar Examiner in Criminal Law in 2004 and an MCLE Lecturer.

He obtained his B.S. in Political Science degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1963 and his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines, where he graduated third in his class, before being admitted to the Bar in 1968. He is 68 years old and will retire on June 8, 2013.

"The Aquino administration is hopeful that the reforms it is instituting across all branches of government will gain greater momentum with the appointment of Justice Villaruz. The Filipino people can rest assured that government positions integral to the straight path will continue to be filled based on merit, integrity, and competence," Lacierda said.

The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) earlier nominated three associate justices of the Sandiganbayan for the position of presiding justice of the anti-graft court. Aside from Villaruz, the other nominees were Associate Justices Efren N. de la Cruz, and Alex L. Quiroz.