Teacher-nurse wants to be chief justice

Ignoring requirements for appointment as chief justice, Jocelyn Esquivel, a non-lawyer, submits her application

MANILA, Philippines – One of those vying for the post of chief justice is a teacher, who is also a nurse.

Rappler learned from unimpeachable sources that a certain Jocelyn Esquivel, who is both a teacher and a nurse, but not a lawyer — sent her application on June 7. 

Being a lawyer is one of the requirements for those applying for posts in the judiciary. For the post of chief justice in particular, the other requirements are:

  • a natural-born citizen of the Philippines
  • 40 years of age
  • must be of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence

The Judicial and Bar Council, the body that vets nominees to the judiciary to the president, will still prune the list of the applicants, however. Retired Court of Appeals Justice Aurora Lagman, a JBC member, told Rappler that they will have an en banc session on June 25 to decide who among the applicants and nominees have met the qualifications.

She said the final list of the candidates will be released on June 27. 

Aside from Esquivel, new aspirants to the post vacated by Chief Justice Renato Corona on May 29 include former assistant prosecutor Marianito Sasodoncillo and retired Judge Manuel Siayngco Jr.

Nominated also to the post were tax chief Kim Henares, lawyer Katrina Legarda, Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza and former Ateneo law dean Cesar Villanueva. 

Automatically nominated, meanwhile, are the 5 most senior SC justices: Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Arturo Brion, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, and Presbitero Velasco Jr.

President Benigno Aquino III has until August 29 to choose Corona’s replacement. Corona was found guilty of violating the Constitution by the Senate impeachment court on May 29 after he failed to disclose P183-M in peso and dollar bank accounts in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. – Rappler.com

Click the links below for related stories.