Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo (Photo courtesy of SC) 

MANILA – Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo has been named the new top magistrate, Malacañang said on Friday.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo confirmed to the Philippine News Agency that Gesmundo is the 27th Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice.
Panelo said Senator Christopher “Bong” Go had told him about the appointment of Gesmundo, taking over Diosdado Peralta who retired on March 27.
“As far as I know,” Panelo told PNA, when asked about Gesmundo's appointment.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque cannot confirm the development yet, explaining that his office has yet to receive a copy of the appointment papers signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“As a matter of SOP (standard operating procedure), judicial appointments are confirmed by my office only after they have been received by the Supreme Court. Given the long holiday, the earliest a judicial appointment can be received by the Court would be this Monday,” Roque said in a text message sent to Palace reporters.
Gesmundo, who secured a seat with the SC in August 2017, previously served as Sandiganbayan associate justice.
He is the fourth SC chief picked by Duterte and will serve until November 6, 2026.
He obtained his law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1984 and passed the Bar examinations the following year.
He entered government service as trial attorney at the Office of the Solicitor General in August 1985.
Gesmundo also served as commissioner of the Presidential Commission on Good Government from July 17, 1998 to February 15, 2001.
He also became Assistant Solicitor General in August 2002.

Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando also applied for the SC post.
Lyceum of the Philippines tweeted about the appointment of its 1977 BS Economics graduate and 2007 Outstanding Alumnus awardee.
“Congrats to Hon. Alexander Gesmundo on his new appointment as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Lycean, take the lead!,” tweeted LPU Manila Official.
Also extending their greetings on social media were the Association of Law Students of the Philippines, Public Attorneys Office chief Persida Acosta and the Municipal Trial Court of Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur. (PNA)