Robredo widow on JBC list as RTC judgeBy Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The widow of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo would rather be named Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge in the Bicol region than be drafted into the senatorial slate of the Aquino administration for the 2013 elections.
Leni Robredo was placed on the short list Monday by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) as a candidate for RTC judge. Her nomination to the JBC short list was “unanimous,’’ said Jose Mejia, a council member.
Robredo’s nomination came as the JBC met Monday to tackle more than 20 vacancies in the lower courts. It was the first JBC meeting presided over by new Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
At the meeting, the JBC also decided to open up the vacancy for Associate Justice on the Supreme Court, the seat of Sereno before she ascended to the top high court position.
Mejia said Robredo had applied either late last year or earlier this year for the post of RTC judge covering the trial courts of Ligao, Albay, as well as Calabanga and Pili, both in Camarines Sur.
He said the JBC interviewed Robredo on February 22.
“We have yet to submit the short list of our nominees to the Palace,’’ Mejia said.
Robredo, along with her three children, garnered much national sympathy and admiration when her husband was reported missing after his plane crashed in the waters off Masbate City last month. His body was found four days later.
Administration allies tried to convince the widow to run for a Senate seat, but she declined the offer, saying she was not interested in electoral politics.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said Robredo was “not keen on entering politics despite the encouragement—that she is winnable and capable—from well-intentioned individuals and groups.”
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said at the JBC meeting that council members had passed a resolution welcoming Sereno into the fold, now that she is the new chair of the eight-member council.
De Lima said it was a “productive meeting,’’ which included deciding to open up the vacancy for associate justice.
Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr. said the JBC would start the publication of the vacancy for associate justice on September 5 and that this would require a 10-day publication in newspapers of general circulation.
President Aquino has 90 days to appoint a new associate justice after Sereno was appointed Chief Justice on August 24.