PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III made his first appointment in the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday, as he named Maria Lourdes Aranal Sereno as associate justice.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the President does not know Sereno on a personal basis, citing that picking her for the post was based on qualification to which the Palace dubbed as "admirable."

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Sereno graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in A.B. Economics in 1980.

She obtained her Bachelor of Laws (Cum Laude and Class Valedictorian) from the University of the Philippines College of Law (1984), and took Master of Laws from the University of Michigan Law School (1993).

She was an awardee of Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service for law in 1998.

A faculty of the Philippine Judicial Academy since 2000, she has taught Civil Law, Negotiable Instruments Law, and International Trade Law.

She was also a faculty at the Hague Academy of International Law, Cambodia in November 2004. She is currently Executive Director of the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center.

She was co-counsel with Justice Florentino Feliciano on the Fraport Case before the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington, D.C. and the Piatco case before the International Chamber of Commerce-International Court of Arbitration, Singapore.

Both cases were resolved in favor of the Republic of the Philippines. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)