Santiago, Drilon nominated for Chief Justice-A A +A
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
MANILA (4th Update, 6:56 p.m.) -- Two sitting senators, a congressman, a former Ombudsman and a priest have been nominated Tuesday at the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to succeed ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Nominated for the top judicial post are Senators Franklin Drilon and Miriam Defensor-Santiago; Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez; former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo; and, constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas.
Drilon, Rodriguez and Bernas were nominated by lawyer Nicasio Tan, who submitted a letter to the JBC through Senator Francis Escudero, representing the Senate.
Santiago, who was supposed to start her new post as a judge in the International Criminal Court, was nominated by a certain Victor del Rosario from Biliran province in Eastern Visayas, while Marcelo was nominated by retired Supreme Court (SC) Justice Florentino Feliciano.
This brings to 65 the total number of nominees in the initial list of the JBC as of 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Of these individuals, 13 have already accepted their endorsements including SC Associate Justices Arturo Brion and Roberto Abad. Eleven nominees have declined, including SC associate justices Mariano del Castillo, Jose Mendoza, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, and Bienvenido Reyes, while two have applied.
The JBC is still accepting applications and endorsements of people who could possibly replace Corona. Deadline for applications is on July 2.
Anyone opposed to a person's nomination may file with the JBC secretary a complaint or opposition within 10 days after the long list is published.
Drilon and Santiago were on opposite sides of the fence during the impeachment trial of Corona, who was impeached for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution in failing to declare all of his peso and dollar deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
Currently the chairman of the ruling Liberal Party, Drilon was among the 20 senators who voted for Corona's conviction. Aside from becoming a senator, Drilon served as executive secretary during the term of President Aquino's mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, and as Justice secretary during the term of former President Fidel Ramos.
Santiago, as senator judge in the Corona impeachment, voted for his acquittal. She had been nominated for the chief justice post for the retirement of then Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, but lost to Reynato Puno, then the most senior justice of the high court.
A former trial court judge, she served as commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation in 1988 and Secretary of Agrarian Reform under former President Aquino’s time.
In 1992, she ran for president but lost to Ramos.
Marcelo, on the other hand, is one of the senior partners of the controversial CVC law firm, one of whose founding heads was now acting chief justice Antonio Carpio. Prior to his brief stint as Ombudsman during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Marcelo served as one of the private prosecutors in the impeachment trial of former President Joseph Estrada, then later as lead government prosecutor in the prosecution of Estrada in the plunder case before the Sandiganbayan.
He was also likewise, along with Corona, in 2010 to replace then retiring chief justice Puno.
Rodriguez served as commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration during the Arroyo administration, while Bernas is dean emeritus of the Ateneo law school. Bernas was also one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution commissioned by former President Cory Aquino. (JCV/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)