Oops! Davao judge mistakenly applies for chief justice

Lian Buan
Oops! Davao judge mistakenly applies for chief justice
‘Nandito na 'ko, sayang naman po ‘yung effort ko,’ says the judge from Tagum City, Davao

MANILA, Philippines – A much-needed comic relief was provided after a whole day of interviews for chief justice applicants on Thursday, August 16, when Tagum City, Davao Judge Virginia Tehano-Ang admitted she did not really intend to apply for the post of top magistrate.

“I said you’re not going to apply for the Chief Justice, just for associate justice, it just so happened that when I applied for the position, that was the vacancy. Nagkataon lang po! (It was accidental),” Ang said, giggling.

Ang explained that when she sent her application, she indicated there that it was for the vacancy left by Maria Lourdes Sereno, not knowing it was for the Chief Justice post.

Ang said she was not aware that one needed to apply for Chief Justice.

“I was thinking, ‘di ba si Sereno noon naging associate justice muna siya bago naging chief justice. Hindi ko alam na dito pala sa Supreme Court, ina-applyan pala ‘yung pagiging chief justice, akala ko ina-appoint lang. Katulad sa lower court, ang executive judge, ina-appoint lang,” she said.

(I was thinking, Sereno was first associate justice before she became chief justice. I didn’t know that in the Supreme Court, you had to apply to become a chief justice, I thought they just appoint one. Like in the lower court, the executive judge is just appointed.)

But when asked if she wanted to back out of the interview, she said she would rather proceed.

“Pinaghirapan ko na po, nandito na ‘ko. Nagpa-interview na sa inyo. Syempre, puwede na po, ‘di ba? Sayang naman po yung effort ko (I already worked hard for this, I’m already here for the interview. Of course, this is already good enoug, isn’t it, lest I waste my efforts),” she said.

Ang was recently in the news, but not for good reasons.

A motorcycle rider who Ang allegedly hit with her car went on air in the Tulfo radio program to complain that the judge did not pay for the hospitalization cost.

“It was not my car who bumped the motocrcyle, it was the motorcycle that bumped us. But when I told the rider to give me his bank account number, so that I can give you the money every time I have enough, he did not. I texted him, he did not answer,” Ang said.

Ang said the next time she heard from the driver, it was already through the Tulfo program.

Senator Richard Gordon said he appreciates the “spunk” of Ang to try for the post, and that he hopes more jurists from the provinces are encouraged to apply for a Supreme Court position. – Rappler.com

Watch the interviews here:
LIVE: JBC interviews Supreme Court Chief Justice aspirants 

Read other stories from the interviews:


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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.