Presidential cousin Teodoro, ex-lawmaker Zamora nominated for Chief JusticeBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—Presidential cousin Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. and former lawmaker Ronaldo Zamora have been nominated to replace impeached and unseated Renato Corona as Chief Justice.
Teodoro ran for President in the 2010 elections but lost to his second-cousin President Aquino. He was secretary of national defense from August 2007 to November 2009 during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Teodoro topped the 1989 Bar and obtained a master of law degree at Harvard University in Boston.
A former Representative of San Juan city, Zamora also served as executive secretary to former President Joseph Estrada. He topped the 1969 Bar.
The number of candidates for the position of Chief Justice is now down to 35 after three nominees—Laguna Provincial Prosecutor Marianito Sasondoncillo, Integrated Bar of the Philippines President Roan Libarios and former Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla—declined.
Seven candidates have already accepted their nomination: Supreme Court Associate Justices Arturo Brion and Roberto Abad, Katrina Legarda, former Ateneo Law Dean Cesar Villanueva, former UP Law Dean Raul Pangalangan, private lawyer Rafael Morales and Commission on Elections Commissioner Rene Sarmiento.
Four ranking officials in the Aquino government have yet to confirm or decline their nomination. They are Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares, Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza and Peace Process Chief Marvic Leonen.
Nine Supreme Court Associate Justices have been nominated for the post, five of whom are automatically nominated for being the most senior in the Supreme Court. The five senior Associate Justices are Antonio Carpio, Arturo Brion (who has accepted the nomination), Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Presbitero Velasco Jr. and Diosdado Peralta.
The four others who were nominated via letter of endorsements sent to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) are Associate Justices Jose Perez, Roberto Abad (who has accepted the nomination), Maria Lourdes Sereno and Estela Perlas Bernabe.
The JBC, which is tasked to screen and recommend applicants to the judicial and Ombudsman positions, will submit a short list of candidates to the President, who will make the choice.
The JBC will accept nominees up to July 2.