De Lima asks for fairness as JBC tackles disbarment complaintsBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Thursday that she still believes that the Judicial and Bar Council will exercise fairness in deliberating the disbarment complaints filed against her.
“I trust that individual members of the JBC are very open-minded, reasonable and capable of judiciousness in resolving the issue,” de Lima said.
She maintained that the complaints filed against her were unfair and “purely harassment.”
Speaking to reporters before meeting with the House committee on appropriations on the proposed 2013 budget for the Department of Justice, de Lima said that although it was up to JBC to decide her eligibility for the post of Chief Justice she is hoping she would be considered.
The JBC will be recommending a shortlist of nominees for the replacement of ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines has recently denied De Lima’s appeal to set aside her disbarment cases to which the Justice Secretary insisted “those complaints are nonsense.”
De Lima may be disqualified from the chief justice race due to IBP’s decision.
She lambasted the IBP’s refusal to conduct a preliminary investigation into the complaints since the Supreme Court referred the case to them.
“I’m finding myself in a tight spot. The Supreme Court has been sitting on those complaints to which I filed comments six months ago. It’s not fair for me,” said De Lima.
She said that the complaints which were blocking her application for the Chief Justice post “should have been gone by now. I’m wondering why they have to sit on the disbarment complaints.”
“I’m asking the JBC to exert its judicious discretion and judgement by looking into the circumstances (surrounding) the disbarment complaints,” she added.
She denied speaking to President Benigno Aquino III about the complaints, but said that he has wished her luck in her application for the Chief Justice post.