SC Justice Perez nominated to CJ post

Perez is the first SC insider -- aside from the 5 most senior justices -- to be nominated to the post

SC JUSTICE. Supreme Court Justice Jose Perez is nominated to become Chief Justice. Photo from Supreme Court website

MANILA, Philippines – A lawyers group has nominated Supreme Court Justice Jose Perez to replace former chief justice Renato Corona, the first SC insider aside from the 5 most senior SC justices to be recommended to the highest post in the judiciary. 

The Asia Pacific Bar Association — through its president Purisima Buyco — nominated Perez, who served as court administrator before he was appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the SC in 2009. 

SC insiders who were automatically nominated to the post include Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Arturo Brion, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, and Presbitero Velasco Jr. Only the 5 most senior justices are automatically nominated.

By nominating Perez, the group also urged the Judicial and Bar Council — the body which vets aspirants for the judiciary to the president — to also consider all the other 10 justices in the selection process for the next chief justice. (There are 15 justices in the SC).

“Perez is a venerable resident of the highest court for all of his professional life. In 1971, while still in his law study, he became a technical assistant of the court. After he graduated from the UP College of Law the following year, he joined the roster of lawyers as a legal assistant in the office of the reporter and subsequently became the court administrator prior to his appointment as a member of the court in December 2009,” the group said. 

“In a nutshell, he is a career member of the judiciary now serving as one of the independent jurists.”

Meanwhile, 15 “outsiders” have been nominated to the post. Commission on Elections official Rene Sarmiento and Dean Amado Valdez of the University of the East College of Law were nominated on Friday, June 15. 

The others include government peace panel chair Marvic Leonen, former congressman Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr, former Solicitor-General Francisco “Frank” Chavez, Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim HenaresJustice Secretary Leila de Lima, incumbent Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza, University of the Philippines professors Rafael Morales and Legarda, former UP law dean Raul Pangalangan, former Ateneo law dean Cesar Villanueva, laywer Nepomuceno Aparis, reitred judge Manuel Siayngco, and former assistant provincial prosecutor Cesar Sasondoncillo.

Aside from LegardaPangalangan also accepted his nomination.

The only applicant for the post is a certain teacher and nurse, Jocelyn Esquivel.

The JBC will accept applications and nominations for the post vacated by Corona until June 18. Corona was found guilty by the impeachment court of violating the Constitution and betraying public trust after he failed to declare P183 million in peso and dollar bank deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. –