2 Associate Justices, 3 more Aquino execs declineBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—Two Associate Justices of the Supreme Court three more officials from the Executive Department have declined their nomination for the Chief Justice post.
Supreme Court Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin and Jose Perez have decided to back out opting to follow the seniority tradition at the high court.
On the other hand, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis Baldoz, Government’s Chief Negotiator for the MILF and former UP Law Dean Marvic Leonen and Public Attorneys Office Chief Persida Rueda Acosta also turned down their nomination.
Baldoz, who was caught unaware of the nomination, said she is not interested for the position.
“We have started instituting reforms at DOLE and we are still looking for other areas for improvements for the sake of our workers and employers investing here,” Baldoz told reporters.
Acosta, on the other hand said she “begs off from this distinct privilege in view of her ardent commitment to the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and its mandated clients nationwide.”
Others who have expressed no interest and declined their nominations are the following:
1. Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez
2. Constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas
3. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago
4. Senator Franklin Drilon
5. Supreme Court Associate Justice Mariano Del Castillo
6. SC Justice Bienvenido Reyes
7. SC Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe
8. Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Francisco Villaruz
9. Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Andres Reyes
10. Cebu based Court of Appeals Associate Justice Gabriel Ingles
11. Appeals Court Justice Magdangal De Leon
12. Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa
13. Former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.
14. Former Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla
15. Dean Rodolfo Robles
16. Prosecutor Marianito Sasondoncillo
17. Integrated Bar of the Philippines President Roan Libarios
18. Former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo
19. Veteran Journalist Teodoro Locsin Jr.
20. BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto Henares
21. Former Senator Rene Saguisag.
22. Former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez
There are three other nominees–two Justices and a lower court judge who declined and requested the JBC to exclude their names from the list.
There are already 71 nominees for the top high court post and two applicants. Two have been disqualified—one for being a non-lawyer and the other for being overage.
The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) which vets nominees for the judiciary and the Office of the Ombudsman will release the final list of candidates by Friday.
Atty. Milagros Cayosa, JBC member who represents the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, said that beginning Tuesday they will start screening the applicants based on the requirements stated under the 1987 Constitution.
Under Article 8 Section 7 of the 1987 Constitution, a member of the Supreme Court must be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, at least 40 years of age, and must have been for 15 years or more, a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines.
The same law also requires that a member of the Judiciary must be “a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence.”
She said the JBC will publish the names of the candidates who will make it on the initial screening.
The JBC targets to submit a shortlist of nominees to the President by end of July.