SolGen wins bid to include name among SC nominees

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014


SOLICITOR General Francis Jardeleza convinced the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday to have his name included in the list of remaining candidates for associate justice, a day before the deadline for President Benigno Aquino III to name a person who will complete the 15-man tribunal.

"The Court granted the petition and declared that Solicitor General Francis H. Jardeleza is deemed included in the shortlist submitted to the President, for consideration as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, vice Associate Justice Roberto A. Abad," the SC said in a resolution, a copy of which was forwarded to Malacañang.

Seven justices backed Jardeleza's inclusion in the shortlist while four dissented, SC spokesperson Theodore Te said in a press briefing.

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In his petition, the government’s top lawyer said he was deliberately excluded from the shortlist prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) and that he was deprived of due process because Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno did not inform him of the nature and cause of integrity issues against him.

The Court agreed, noting that the application of Rule 10, Section 2 of the JBC rules resulted in denial of due process to Jardeleza because the integrity objection required a unanimous vote for his name to be included in the shortlist when in fact he already got majority support (four votes) from the JBC on his nomination.

"The Court further directed the Judicial and Bar Council to review and adopt rules relevant to the observance of due process in its proceedings, particularly JBC 009 and JBC-010, subject to the approval of the Court," the resolution stated.

Quezon City Judge Reynaldo Daway got four votes too but his name was submitted to the Office of the President because his integrity was not questioned, according to the JBC.

Also on the shortlist were Court of Appeals (CA) Justices Apolinario Bruselas Jr. and Jose Reyes Jr. and Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan.

Sereno's opposition stemmed from Jardeleza's handling of a “very important specific case” for the state although reports say the two have been at odds dating back from their teaching years at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law.

Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, who also opposed Jardeleza's candidacy, and Associate Justice Martin Villarama Jr. inhibited from the deliberation on the solicitor general's fate. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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