Palace denies pressuring JBC to appoint Jardeleza | Inquirer News

Palace denies pressuring JBC to appoint Jardeleza

/ 02:00 PM August 20, 2014

Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – There was no pressure involved in the appointment of Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza as Supreme Court associate justice, Malacañang said Wednesday.

“We did not exert any pressure, especially on the JBC (Judicial and Bar Council),” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told Palace reporters.


He said that President Benigno Aquino III respects the processes of the Supreme Court, which ruled to include Jardeleza on the short list of nominees to fill the post vacated by Associate Justice Roberto Abad.


Jardeleza’s bid to become part of the SC has been controversial, with Malacañang being accused of pushing for his nomination to have more allies in the judiciary. Such allegations came amid continued tension between the two branches of government because of the SC’s decision to declare parts of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.

Even if the SC did not rule in favor of Jardeleza, Lacierda said Aquino would still appoint someone to the post because the deadline for the appointment was Wednesday.

“It just so happens that the President felt that the right person for the job is Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza. And so, we congratulate Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza in his new assumption as Associate Justice Jardeleza,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda dismissed reports questioning the integrity of Jardeleza amid allegations that he deleted an important passage of the Philippine government’s memorial against China before the United Nations Tribunal.

He said the supposed deleted passage discussing Itu Aba, the largest island in Spratlys, was still included in the pleading.

“So there was no issue with respect to the integrity (of Jardeleza),” Lacierda said.


He said that in the end, it was the SC that decided to include Jardeleza in the shortlist.

Lacierda said the reason why Aquino chose the solicitor general over the other nominees was because they were able to work together and Jardeleza “has shown integrity and competence required in the position that he has assumed.”

He added that Jardeleza was qualified for the position based on his credentials.

Asked if Jardeleza will serve as an independent voice in the Supreme Court, Lacierda said, “When you speak of independence, I think the appointees of the President have proven that. So there should be no issue with respect to independence.”

He said it was not sure how Jardeleza would vote in relation to the government’s motion for reconsideration on the DAP case.

“Let us just wait for his action whatever it will be. So it (is) far from us to speculate or to tell him what to do,” he said.

Jardeleza, as solicitor general, defended the DAP in behalf of the government before the high court.


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TAGS: JBC, Malacañang, Politics, Supreme Court

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