Let history judge Jardeleza’s appointment to SC—IBP head | Inquirer News

Let history judge Jardeleza’s appointment to SC—IBP head

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 10:55 PM August 21, 2014

Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza takes oath as the new Supreme Court Associate Justice held at Supreme Court Building, Manila on Wednesday. NINO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines—Let history be the judge.

The president of the 60,000-strong Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) had this to say on Thursday when asked about his take on President Aquino’s appointment of former Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza as the new associate justice to complete the roll of magistrates in the Supreme Court.


“Let us respect his (the President’s) decision and his choice because, under the Constitution, it’s really his prerogative,” said IBP president Vicente Joyas said when reached by phone on Thursday.


“As to whether or not the choice was wise, let history be the judge. We cannot question the motive and wisdom of the President because it’s his prerogative,” he said.

President Aquino appointed Jardeleza as the high court’s 173rd associate justice and the 15th magistrate under the watch of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno late Tuesday. He made his choice out of five nominees shortly after the Supreme Court ordered the former chief government counsel’s inclusion on the Judicial and Bar Council’s (JBC) short list of nominees.

Jardeleza was initially excluded from the list after Sereno, the JBC chair, through a testimony from Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, raised an integrity issue against him. The magistrates apparently doubted Jardeleza’s loyalty to the country for his handling of the Philippines’ arbitration case against China before the United Nations.

The high court junked such opposition on Tuesday when it ordered Jardeleza’s inclusion on the list with a vote of 7-4. At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jardeleza took his oath of office before no less than Sereno in a cordial meeting at the Supreme Court’s dignitaries lounge.

Sereno also gave Jardeleza a tour of the Supreme Court.

Amid concerns over how Jardeleza’s presence in the Supreme Court might unduly influence cases he had himself filed on behalf of the government, Joyas said he trusted Jardeleza would not participate.


As Solicitor-General, Jardeleza led the defense of the government’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) before the high court, losing on July 1 in a unanimous decision that struck the program down as unconstitutional. He later asked the court to reconsider this ruling on the government’s behalf — a pleading still pending until now.

“My advice is for him to inhibit from his cases especially DAP, because if not, that would create a perception among the public that the Supreme Court is not impartial,” said Joyas.

He said Jardeleza’s appointment “would not make a big impact on the Supreme Court as a whole,” as each of the members makes his or her own independent decision on every issue raised before the court.

“Members of the Supreme Court have their own personal conclusions, depending on the case. Let us be satisfied about the choice and trust that our Supreme Court is impartial and independent,” he said.


Palace denies pressuring JBC to appoint Jardeleza

The integrity of SolGen Francis Jardeleza

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No surprise: Aquino names Jardeleza to SC

TAGS: Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Judiciary, News, Politics, Supreme Court, Vicente Joyas

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