Santiago, Drilon also nominated for Chief Justice postBy Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The search for the 24th Chief Justice of the Philippines just got more interesting.
Two senators who figured prominently, albeit on opposing sides, in the recent impeachment trial of ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona have been recommended to replace him.
Senators Miriam Santiago and Franklin Drilon joined the still growing list of individuals who had been nominated in the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), the body tasked by the Constitution to screen candidates for the judicial posts.
The sharp-tongued Santiago was one of only three senators—besides Senators Joker Arroyo and Ferdinand Marcos Jr.—who tried to save Corona from going down in history as the country’s first Chief Justice to be sacked through an impeachment process. The three voted not guilty.
Drilon, on the other hand, was among the 20 senators who voted to convict Corona, who admitted that he did not declare some P180 million in dollar and peso deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Santiago and Drilon were classmates at the University of the Philippines’ College of Law where they graduated in 1969.
Another classmate, former Representative Ronaldo Zamora, who topped the 1969 bar exams, has also been nominated to the vacant Chief Justice post.
Santiago, who is set to join the International Criminal Court this year, was recommended by lawyer Victor del Rosario while Drilon was nominated by lawyer Nicasio Tan.
Santiago was also nominated to succeed then outgoing Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban in December 2006.
“I firmly believe that her intellectual prowess, conscientious scholarship and, most of all, her unassailable character will inspire the trust, confidence and respect of the bar, the bench and the general public,” Del Rosario said in nominating Santiago.
Among the other nominees were Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist and constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas Jr., Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez, Camiguin Representative Pedro Romualdo, retired Court of Appeals Associate Justice Portia Alino-Hormachuelos and lawyer Vincent Veloso—all nominated by Tan.
Also nominated were former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo and law professor Ed Vincent Albano.
July 2 deadline
With barely a week before the July 2 deadline for the nomination, the JBC had received 65 recommendations and applications for the Chief Justice position.
But only 13 of the nominees had signified their intention to join the JBC selection process, which would be open to live media coverage.
Those who had accepted their nominations were Associate Justices Arturo Brion and Roberto Abad, human rights lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno, law professor Soledad Cagampang-de Castro, prominent women’s rights lawyer Katrina Legarda, Rafael Morales, Inquirer columnist and former UP law dean Raul Pangalangan and Vicente Velasquez.
Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima—all touted to be heavyweight contenders for the Chief Justice post—have yet to accept their nominations. With Tetch Torres, INQUIRER.net
Originally posted: 3:54 pm | Tuesday, June 26th, 2012