MANILA, Philippines – Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza has tried twice in the past to become a justice of the Supreme Court (SC).
On Thursday, May 29, Jardeleza was interviewed by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) for his third bid to join the ranks of the magistrates in the country’s High Court.
The 64-year-old lawyer expressed his commitment to the job should he be appointed.
“My commitment to untiring preparation and legal reasoning… [I] will be able to bring to the Court a certain level of credibility as regards decision-making,” Jardeleza said during the JBC-set public interviews. He also believes lawyers do aspire to become SC justices.
Jardeleza is surely determined, if his attempts to join the 15-member Court are any indication.
Jardeleza first applied for an SC post in 2011. He was also a candidate to replace ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.
Lawyer Maria Milagros N. Fernan-Cayosa asked Jardeleza point-blank if his current office could still work effectively in his absence.
“There’s never a dearth of good people in public service… I’m certain that the President will find a better person to replace me,” Jardeleza answered her.
As solicitor general, Jardeleza lawyers for the government.
Fernan-Cayosa is the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Representative to the JBC. She is among the 3 present in the JBC panel on Thursday. The other two were: retired CA Justice Aurora Santiago-Lagman representing the private sector and lawyer Jose Mejia representing the academe.
In 2011, Jardeleza also vied for the post of Ombudsman. He lost his bid. Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales was appointed to the post.
Born in Jara, Iloilo, Jardeleza was the third placer in the 1975 bar examinations. He graduated from the UP College of Law and completed his master of laws in Harvard University.
He spent 23 years in private practice, with 14 of those years as general counsel for food and beverage giant San Miguel Corporation. He has a total of 38 years of law practice.
Of the 13 candidates, Jardeleza has one of the longest list of character references including but not limited to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, and Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Vicente Mendoza.
The JBC is conducting the two-day public interview session with the SC justice aspirants. The council will submit a shortlist of candidates to President Benigno Aquino III, who holds full executive powers to appoint the new High Court magistrate.
The post was vacated by retired Justice Roberto Abad. He left the High Court on May 22, when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Abad’s retirement paves the way for Aquino’s 5th appointee to the SC. (READ: SC Justice Abad retirement paves way for 5th Aquino appointee) – Rappler.com
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