Ombudsman a demotion for SC justice, says Miriam
MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Wednesday questioned Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales’ decision to accept her nomination to become the next Ombudsman.
In case Carpio-Morales gets the appointment, it would be a “demotion” for someone who is already at the apex of one’s legal career, according to the senator.
“It’s very difficult to reconcile in the mind a person who has already been there up the bench (to want) to go down to a counsel’s table,” she added.
While there had been retired SC justices who accepted new posts, she noted that the subsequent assignments were “on the level of their intellectual supremacy as justices.” Carpio-Morales, said to be the Palace’s preference to be the next Ombudsman, will retire on June 19 when she reaches 70 years old.
Santiago cited the case of former Justice Cecilia Muñoz-Palma, who later headed the Constitutional Convention.
The senator also warned that appointing high court justices to new posts after their retirement might influence that way cases were decided.
“It might set a very dangerous precedent because if the President keeps on appointing retired Supreme Court justices, it could be that the President might be able to influence the outcome of certain cases by holding out the promise that he could appoint after retirement certain people,” she said.
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