Palace won’t ask allies to pull out of Supreme Court derbyPhilippine Daily Inquirer
Malacañang will not be asking known allies of President Benigno Aquino to decline a nomination to the post of Chief Justice left vacant by the removal of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said one of those Aquino allies, Liberal Party vice chairman Senator Franklin Drilon, was “obviously qualified” for the post.
Drilon was one of the 20 senators who voted to convict Corona. His manner of questioning of the witnesses was even seen as helping the often inept prosecution.
He also said that another nominated senator, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, was similarly competent but that she has already been appointed as a judge in the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Earlier, Lacierda said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Revenue Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares, two of Mr. Aquino’s most loyal officials, were “qualified” to be considered for the post of Chief Justice.
“We believe that all of them are qualified. And you will have to reject or accept it based on your own belief that you can contribute to judicial reform,” Lacierda said.
“But ultimately, it will be up to the Judicial and Bar Council to evaluate a person whether he belongs to a political party, whether he is a senator, whether he is a celebrity or a celebrity lawyer. It depends,” he added.
Lacierda would not comment on the JBC’s requirement for psychological tests for candidates.
“There are minimum requirements under the Constitution as to who can become Chief Justice. It’s been provided in the Constitution. As to whether the JBC can provide additional qualifications, that’s something that we leave with the JBC,” Lacierda said.
“As to the constitutionality of those requirements, that’s something I cannot comment on,” he added. Norman Bordadora