6 High Court magistrates accept nominations-A A +A
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
MANILA – Six justices of the Supreme Court (SC), including Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, have accepted their nominations for the top judicial post.
As of 4:30 p.m. on Monday, the SC magistrates who have confirmed their nomination at the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) aside from Carpio were Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Arturo Brion, Roberto Abad and Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Sereno is President Benigno Aquino III’s first appointee to the tribunal. Except for Abad and Sereno, the rest of the SC magistrates were automatically recommended for the Chief Justice post for being most senior in terms of appointment.
Among the magistrates who were automatically recommended, only Diosdado Peralta did not confirm his nomination.
This brings to 25 the total number of nominees who have accepted their nominations.
The JBC, the constitutional body tasked to screen and submit a shortlist of nominees to the President for appointment to the vacant judicial post, was expected to continue accepting nomination until midnight of Monday.
The others who have conformed, as of 3:27 p.m. Monday, were Presidential Commission on Good Government chair Andres Bautista; Justice Secretary Leila de Lima; human rights lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno; Securities and Exchange Commission chair Teresita Herbosa; Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza; former University of the Philippines law dean Raul Pangalangan; former presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos-Pijao; Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez; Comelec commissioner Rene Sarmiento; former UE Dean Amado Valdez; former Ateneo dean Cesar Villanueva; San Juan Representative Ronaldo Zamora; lawyers Katrina Legarda, Vincent Veloso; Vicente Velasquez, Rafael Morales, Manuel Siayngco, Amelia Tria-Infante and Soledad Cagampang-de Castro.
On the other hand, including Peralta, 28 nominees have declined namely: Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner Kim Henares; Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta; Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Roan Libarios; former Energy Secretary Rafael Lotilla; Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa; court administrator Jose Midas Marquez; former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr.; Sandiganabayan Presiding Justice Francisco Villaruz Jr.; lawyer Simeon Marcelo and former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez; Constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas; and, SC justices Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Jose Catral-Mendoza, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Bienvenido Reyes; Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Franklin Drilon; Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Andres Reyes and Court of Appeals Justice Magdangal De Leon; Cebu-based CA Associate Justice Gabriel Ingles; Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz; former Senator Rene Saguisag; former Representative Teodoro Locsin Jr.; Dean Rodolfo Robles; Prosecutor Marianito Sasondoncillo and Government Chief Negotiator for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Marvic Leonen.
In his acceptance letter submitted to lawyer Enriqueta Vidal as JBC ex-officio secretary, Carpio said: “I have the honor to accept the nomination for the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. I greatly appreciate that you automatically included me in the list of nominees.”
Carpio, who became the acting chief justice of the High Court following the ouster of Renato Corona, also became the acting JBC ex-officio chairman.
He inhibited from JBC deliberations following his automatic nomination for the top judicial post.
Meanwhile, after announcing that she is accepting her nomination for the post, de Lima said she has what it takes to heal the judiciary, which was polarized by the impeachment of Corona and the rift with the executive branch.
“I’m not sure if I’m acceptable to the insiders (SC justices), but I believe that I have the right personality to be able to deal with everyone. Kasi kailangan talaga ng unifying force sa judiciary and lalo na sa mga nasa baba, the judges, the Court of Appeals justices. I’d like to believe that they are looking forward to an effective and trusted leader,” de Lima said.
Meanwhile, former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez asked the SC on Monday to declare null and void the current composition of the JBC for being unconstitutional, particularly the separate representations from the Senate and the House of Representatives, through Senator Chiz Escudero and Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas, respectively.
After turning down his nomination, Chavez said that Article VII, Section 8 of the Constitution is clear and definite, and thus, need no interpretation that the JBC shall have only one representative from Congress, and that the framers of the Constitution clearly envisioned on a council composed of only seven members.
“A declaration of intent to persist on a practice moored after the intractable manner of a supposed liberal, if not loose, application of the law, stands merely as a proxy statement for condoning a wrong for the sake of tradition,” he said, referring to the argument of JBC members that giving two representations to Congress is based on its practice.
Chavez, in his petition, likewise asked the High Court to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the JBC from further functioning.
President Benigno Aquino III is required to name the new top magistrate 90 days following the vacancy or until August 28. (ECV/Sunnex)