Associate Justice Peralta hit for ‘Pontius Pilate’ act over Sereno’s appointment
Maintaining that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has complied with all Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) requirements in 2012, the camp of the beleaguered top magistrate of the high tribunal chided on Monday Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta for pulling a “Pontius Pilate” when he approved her application for the top judicial post.
“It is clear to us that Justice Peralta wants to wash his hands clean of how Chief Justice Sereno was included in the JBC shortlist and he knows it,” Sereno’s spokesperson Jojo Lacanilao said on Monday.
“Mahirap pong sabihin na hindi niya (Peralta) alam na nangyari ‘yun. Mayroon pong kasulatan na isinumite sa Malacañang at siya po ay nakapirma roon,” Lacanilao said.
Earlier in the House justice committee hearing on Sereno’s impeachment, Peralta hit Sereno for failing to submit her complete SALNs, including those when she was still a University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law professor.
On July 20, 2012, Sereno wrote a letter to JBC asking for exemption to the submission of SALN. This was not, however, brought up before the JBC en banc.
But Lacanilao said Sereno submitted three SALNs since her appointment as SC Associate Justice in 2010.
Peralta said that had he known that issue on Sereno’s SALNs, he would have objected to her inclusion in the shortlist of Chief Justice nominees that was submitted to then President Benigno S. Aquino III.
At the time, Peralta was the acting chair of JBC. He was the one who signed the endorsement letter to Malacañang containing the list of nominees for the Chief Justice post.
“The fact that the JBC shortlisted the Chief Justice means its members, including Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta who was then the acting chair, found her documentary submissions complete and compliant with the rules,” Lacanilao stressed.
Lacanilao sought “delicadeza” from Peralta, who expressed his disappointment to Sereno for excluding his wife, Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Audrey Peralta, from the shortlist of nominees for the CA Presiding Justice.
“Justice Peralta should have some delicadeza in not allowing personal disappointments to color his testimonies before the Justice Committee,” Lacanilao said. /kga
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