2 more SC justices accept nomination for top post
Two more justices of the Supreme Court have accepted their nomination for the position of Chief Justice.
Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta and Andres Reyes Jr. submitted on Wednesday their letters of acceptance to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
Peralta is one of the five most senior justices of the Supreme Court and by tradition is automatically nominated for the top judiciary post.
Reyes, on the other hand, is one of the junior members of the high court, having been appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte only last year.
There are already three accepted nominations for position – the first one was submitted Tuesday by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, another senior member of the Supreme Court.
All three justices rose from the ranks.
Bersamin served as a regional trial court judge befoere his appointment to the Court of Appeals in 2003. He was appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the Supreme Court in 2009.
Peralta was a regional trial court judge from 1994 to 2002. He gained a reputation for being a “hanging judge” for sentencing to death more than 40 people when was a judge in Quezon City.
He was then appointed Sandiganbayan associate justice and was a member of the division that convicted then ousted President Joseph Estrada, now Manila mayor, of plunder. He was also appointed by Arroyo in 2009.
Reyes is the son of Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Sr. He served as a metropolitan trial court judge in Makati and San Mateo, Rizal in 1987 and 1990, respectively. He was appointed Court of Appeals justice in 1999, following in his father’s footsteps when he became presiding justice in 2010. He was nominated for Supreme Court associated justice and was appointed last year.
If appointed to the top SC post, Peralta would still have four years to serve before retiring from the judiciary. Bersamin has until October next year before retirement. Reyes has two more years before retirement.
Apart from Peralta and Bersamin, the three other most senior SC justices are scting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr. and Teresita Leonardo-De Castro.
The most senior magistrate, Carpio has already declined the nomination. He said he would not want to benefit from ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes, which he had opposed by voting against the SC ruling on the quo warranto petition.
Velasco is also expected to decline the nomination since he is retiring from the judiciary next month, while De Castro is expected to accept the nomination on Thursday. /atm
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