Jardeleza will be Aquino’s spy, mole in SC – Kabataan partylist
MANILA, Philippines – A partylist lawmaker characterized the appointment of Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza to the Supreme Court as another attempt by the Aquino administration to undermine the high court’s independence “this time from the inside.”
Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon on Thursday said Jardeleza’s inclusion on the shortlist of the Judicial and Bar Council at the last minute and immediate appointment showed the lengths to which the executive would go in order to exert influence over the Supreme Court in the aftermath of the latter’s unfavorable rulings against the executive.
“Solicitor General Jardeleza’s 11th hour appointment is power play at its peak,” Ridon said in a statement.
He said President Benigno Aquino III had “unabashedly delayed” the appointment of a new Supreme Court associate justice right until his government’s lawyer was included in the JBC shortlist.
“And in a matter of hours, poof, Aquino appointed Jardeleza as new justice. How can we expect Justice Jardeleza to exercise judicial independence when he practically owes this political appointment to his client, the president?” Ridon said.
The lawmaker said Jardeleza’s appointment now placed the high court’s judicial integrity under a cloud of doubt.
Ridon noted that it was Jardeleza who defended the government position in several critical cases, including the cyber crime law, the Priority Development Assistance Fund case, the Disbursement Acceleration Program, and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.
The last two cases have not even been resolved with finality, he said.
“Think about it. In the past, he was the lawyer, now he is the judge. In the past, he defended the respondents, now he will decide the case,” Ridon said.
“Even if Jardeleza inhibits in the pending cases where he has direct involvement, the Solicitor General’s presence in the Supreme Court is akin to putting a spy – a mole – inside the SC, a loyal infiltrator who will continue to report to his client and patron,” he said.
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