Corona lawyer opposes de Lima's nomination-A A +A
Friday, July 13, 2012
A FORMER lawyer of Renato Corona filed on Friday a formal opposition to the nomination of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to the vacant Chief Justice post.
In an opposition letter submitted to the Judicial Bar and Council (JBC), lawyer Rico Paolo Quicho said de Lima does not possess the qualities of competence, integrity, probity and independence required of the post as made apparent by the facts surrounding her two disbarment cases.
The Justice secretary is facing disbarment cases after disregarding a temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court (SC), which allowed the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband to leave the country.
De Lima is one of the 22 nominees who are set to undergo public interviews starting July 24.
De Lima, Quicho added, was "motivated by desire for personal gain, glory, and advancement" after having to testify in the impeachment trial of Corona that eventually resulted in the latter's removal from office.
"Her participation as a witness in the impeachment trial contributed to the eventual removal from office of CJ Corona. Now she wants to occupy the position vacated by CJ Corona by virtue of an appointment by the same political benefactor, President Aquino," Quicho said.
In a phone interview, Quicho told Sun.Star that the former Chief Justice did not know of his plan to oppose de Lima's nomination.
"He (Corona) has no idea. No one knows except my wife and my family," he said.
Quicho also sought the voluntary inhibition of Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr. in the proceedings of the JBC. Tupas was lead prosecutor in Corona's impeachment trial.
"The impeachment process, whether he cares to admit so or not, has tainted him indelibly with the color of politics," Quicho said.
Corona's former spokesperson said the Iloilo representative should follow the lead of de Lima in inhibiting from the JBC proceedings.
As chairman of the House committee on justice, Tupas is one of the ex-officio members of the JBC. The two others are de Lima, in her capacity as Justice secretary, and Senator Francis Escudero, as chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights.
"Surely, there is not a dearth of good men and women from whose ranks the next Chief Justice of the land may be selected; and not a scarcity of competent and impartial men and women to participate in the selection," he said.
He said removing de Lima from the list of nominees for Chief Justice and having Tupas voluntarily inhibit from the selection will not hurt the process.
"On the contrary, it will infuse credibility and respectability where these may, for one reason or another, already be lacking," Quicho said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)