President Benigno Aquino III appointed Francisco Villaruz as the new presiding justice of the anti-graft court (Sandiganbayan).
The new appointee who is known as a no nonsense magistrate inside the courtroom had replaced Edilberto Sandoval who retired from the service last June 20, 2011.
Villaruz could be well remembered when he convicted former President Joseph Estrada for plunder. He was then the the senior member of the Special Division of the anti-graft court.
The magistrate completed his law degree at the University of the Philippines and passed the Philippine Bar Examination of August 1967 with a bar rating of 84.6 percent.
Villaruz, 68, is the Sandiganbayan chief until June 8, 2013 when he will be 70, the mandatory age of retirement.
Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda described Villaruz as very professional and diligent as shown by his record of six decisions and 100 resolutions every month.
Villaruz is the current chairman of the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division and among the notable cases he had resolved were:
The acquittal of Rep. Rodolfo Valencia of Oriental Mindoro, when the Ombudsman found that the lawmaker had been wrongly accused .
The conviction of Brig. Gen. Vladimir delos Trino, an Air Force official of graft and malversation charges.
The dismissal of the case of former Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City in line with
the demolition of a P2-million canal cover park in the city.