‘Why was I singled out?’By Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila De Lima is dismayed by the decision of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to disqualify her from the Chief Justice post.
“Why was I singled out? That is the question I want to ask them,” De Lima told reporters.
“I don’t know how to react,” she said and then avoided the reporters.
The JBC disqualified De Lima after the Integrated Bar of the Philippines maintained that the formal investigation on the disbarment case against her should push through.
The complaints against De Lima was filed separately by Ricardo Rivera and Fernando Perito, Nephtali Aliposa, both about De Lima’s alleged defiance in following a Supreme Court temporary restraining order issued November 2011 when she stopped former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo.
Under the rules of the Judicial and Bar Council particularly Rule 4 Section 5 provides that those disqualified from being nominated or appointed to any judicial, Ombudsman or deputy ombudsman position include: 1. those with pending criminal or regular administrative cases; 2. those with pending criminal cases in foreign courts or tribunals; 3, those who have been convicted in any criminal case or in an administrative case where the penalty imposed is at least a fine of more than P10,000 unless he has been grated judicial clemency
Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr. the proposal to suspend the rules did not push through after receiving objections from other JBC members.
However, he said he will still push for the amendment of the rules which hopefully if approved will be applied to the next vacancy.
Aside from De Lima, the JBC also debated on whether or not to disqualify Securities and Exchange Commission Teresita Herbosa and Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza. But the JBC considered the two after the administrative case against Herbosa was dismissed by the Supreme Court last August 1 while Jardeleza’s case is still pending before the Office of the Bar Confidant. The high court has not yet determined if there is probable cause on the case against him.
Tags: chief justice , Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr. , Judicial and Bar Council , Justice Secretary Leila de Lima , President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo , Securities and Exchange Commission , Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza , Supreme Court