‘Nonsense,’ Roque says of opposition claims on CJ appointment | Inquirer News
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‘Nonsense,’ Roque says of opposition claims on CJ appointment

/ 02:05 PM August 26, 2018

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. INQUIRER FILE

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque rejected as “nonsense” the claim of some lawmakers that new Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro was appointed as a reward for her part in ousting Maria Lourdes Sereno.

On Sunday, Roque said De Castro was appointed based on “judicial professionalism.”

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“Walang saysay ‘yan (That’s nonsense),” he said, referring to claims by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte “upheld judicial professionalism by appointing (the) most senior of aspirants,” Roque told reporters in a text message.

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Duterte chose De Castro from a shortlist given to him by the Judicial and Bar Council, which is constitutionally mandated to screen and select qualified candidates for vacancies in the judiciary.

But Lagman said Duterte “rewarded” De Castro for her “starring role” in unseating Sereno, whom the Supreme Court kicked out after granting the quo warranto petition of Solicitor General Jose Calida.

In granting the petition, the High Court declared that Sereno had been illegitimately holding the position of Chief Justice and whose appointment by then-President Benigno Aquino III was void from the start.

Lagman said De Castro’s tenure, which would only last for 41 days until her retirement in October, “militates against her appointment.”

In a separate statement, Alejano also believed the appointment was the President’s incentive for De Castro.

Alejano said Duterte seemed to view government posts as “cheap dole outs to reward his followers.”

De Castro bested Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin. /cbb

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TAGS: chief justice, Edcel Lagman, Gary Alejano, Harry Roque, Judiciary, News, Supreme Court, Teresita Leonardo de Castro
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