GLOBAL ONE NEWS — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed a new chief magistrate.

Sixty-nine-year-old Lucas Bersamin was sworn in Nov. 28 to be the country’s new Supreme Court Chief Justice.

As an associate justice, Bersamin had a track record of supporting the executive’s policies, such as declaring the martial law in Mindanao constitutional and ousting former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Malacañang said it is confident Bersamin “will continue to uphold judicial excellence.”

Bersamin’s appointment came as a surprise to some because Duterte had previously mentioned the next chief magistrate would be the most senior on the court.

Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, the most senior member of the court, had also been nominated to the position in the past and was endorsed by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Carpio, however, has a different opinion from the administration on the issues at the West Philippine Sea.