Supreme Court, JBC, IBP conspired against me—De LimaBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila De Lima on Tuesday accused the Supreme Court, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) of conspiring to drop her from the shortlist of nominees for chief justice.
De Lima said the three judicial bodies could have conspired because of their perception that she was a Palace favorite.
“The Supreme Court, the IBP and the JBC, it looked like they all agreed trying to pin me down and bonding together as if they have a common objective—that is, anybody but De Lima,” she told reporters on Tuesday.
After several postponements that critics attributed to De Lima’s appeal to suspend the rules disqualifying her candidacy, the JBC on Monday announced the eight final candidates, with acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio topping the shortlist.
De Lima, who is facing disbarment cases for badmouthing former chief justice Renato Corona and ignoring a Supreme Court order, is not on the shortlist.
She said that the disbarment complaints against her were referred by the Supreme Court to the IBP only after she accepted the chief justice nomination on July 3.
“They sat down on those cases for six or seven months and then when they learned that I have accepted the nomination, that’s the time they [the Supreme Court] referred it [to the IBP],” De Lima said.
She also noted the dismissal of an administrative case against Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Teresita Herbosa on August 1 while the disbarment complaint against Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza remains pending with the high court’s office of the Bar Confidant.
“What about the other cases? One was dismissed on August 1, it was well within the selection process, and then one was still pending, not referred to the IBP. Why was that other complaint not referred to the IBP? Bakit ‘yong sa akin lang?” she said.
“You can’t blame me if I feel this way. Why? There is nothing I can do now that can really undo the turn of events. For my part, I just want to move on,” De Lima said.