MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council disqualified Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for the Chief Justice post due to two pending disbarment cases filed against her, a member of the JBC said on Monday.
Eight names now make up the shortlist by the Judicial and Bar Council for the position of Supreme Court Chief Justice, JBC member Jose Mejia said.
The eight names are:
- Acting chief Justice Antonio Carpio
- Supreme Court Associate Justice Roberto Abad
- Supreme Court Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno
- Supreme Court Associate Justice Arthuro Brion
- Solicitor General Francis Jardeliza
- Former San Juan Representative Ronaldo Zamora
- Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro
- Former Ateneo Law Dean Cesar Villanueva
Justice Carpio got seven out of eight votes. Justices Abad, Brion, Sereno, Jardeleza and former Representative Zamora got six votes each while Justice De Castro and Dean Villanueva received five votes each.
The names will be submitted to President Benigno Aquino III, who has until the last week of August to pick who the next Chief Justice will be.
Under Article 8 Section 4 (1), the President has 90 days from the time the vacancy occurred to make the appointment.
The Chief Justice position became vacant after Renato Corona was impeached by the Senate sitting as an impeachment court last May 29.
The JBC rescheduled several times its deliberation for various reasons. Even the group Supreme Court Appointments Watch (SCAW) expressed apprehension over reports that there was pressure to suspend rules on disqualification to accommodate one of the 20 candidates.
After several rescheduling, the JBC has come up with its short list on August 13.
Each JBC member can vote up to eight candidates. Here’s how each member of the JBC voted:
Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, presiding officer — Abad, Brion, Carpio, De Castro, Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco;
Undersecretary Frederick Musngi — Abad, PCGG Chair Andres Bautista, Carpio, SEC Chair Teresita Herbosa, Jardeleza, Sereno, Villanueva, Zamora;
Senator Francis Escudero — Brion, Diokno, Herbosa, Jardeleza, former UP Law Dean Raul Pangalangan, Sereno, Velasco, Zamora;
Rep. Niel Tupas, Jr. — Abad, Brion, Carpio, Jardeleza, De Castro, Pangalangan, Sereno, Zamora;
Justice Regino Hermosisima, Jr. — Abad, Brion, Carpio, De Castro, Pangalangan, Velasco, Villanueva, Zamora;
Justice Aurora Santiago Lagman — Brion, Carpio, Herbosa, Jardeleza, De Castro, Sereno, Villanueva, Zamora;
Atty. Jose Mejia — Abad, Brion, Carpio, Diokno, Jardeleza, Sereno, Villanueva, Zamora;
Atty. Maria Milagros Fernan-Cayosa — Abad, Bautista, Carpio, Herbosa, Jardeleza, De Castro, Sereno, Villanueva;
Prior to the disqualification of Justice Secretary Leila DeLima, the JBC members had a straw vote where De Lima got four out of eight votes from the JBC members.