Only 3 senior Justices vying for SC chief; Leonen, Caguioa out
MANILA, Philippines – Only three senior justices of the Supreme Court are vying for the Chief Justice post that will become vacant upon Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta’s early retirement on March 27.
Supreme Court’s Public Information Chief and Spokesperson Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka said Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Associate Justices Alexander Gesmundo and Ramon Paul Hernando have “completed the requirements for the application for the position of Chief Justice.”
The three magistrates are among the most five most senior justices of the Supreme Court. It has been a tradition to automatically nominate the five most senior high court justices to the top judiciary post.
However, the top five nominees still have to accept their nomination and submit the requirements to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC); otherwise, they will not be considered as an aspirant.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, a member of the JBC, said Supreme Court Associate Justices Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa and Marvic Leonen did not submit their documents. Caguioa and Leonen are automatically nominated by virtue of seniority.
“No documents were received from Justices Leonen and Caguioa. I couldn’t speculate on the reason. Either (they were) not really interested or unable to complete and submit all the requirements on time,” said Guevarra.
Currently, Bernabe is the most senior justice. She will retire on May 14, 2022, while Gesmundo will retire on Nov. 6, 2026, and Hernando will retire on Aug. 27, 2036.
“For those asking only Justices Bernabe, Gesmundo, and Hernando completed the requirements for the application for the position of Chief Justice,” said Hosaka.
JBC had scheduled the public interviews of the three senior SC officials on March 10.
Peralta is supposed to retire on March 27, 2022, when he turns 70, the mandatory retirement age for justices. But last Dec. 1, the high court confirmed that Peralta sent a letter to his fellow justices informing them of his intent to retire a year early.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.