Comelec official, 5 others nominated to CJ post

Nominees include the IBP president, a Comelec commissioner, and a retired Court of Appeals justice

MANILA, Philippines – Six more court outsiders have been nominated to the post of chief justice, one of whom is a Commission on Elections (Comelec) official.

Comelec commissioner Rene Sarmiento was recommended to the post by Zenaida Quezon Avancena, the sole surviving child of the late President Manuel Quezon and the San Beda College of Law  on June 13 and June 14, respectively. Sarmiento told Rappler he has yet to send his formal acceptance to his nomination, but added “Susubukan ko (I will try).”

Dean Amaldo Valdez of the University of the East College of law, on the other hand, was recommended to the post by Saeed Daof, chairman of the Southern Philippines Development Authority on June 14.

Roan Libarios, president of the Integrated Bar of the Phiippines, was also nominated to the post by lawyer Dante Mercado.

Other SC outsiders who were nominated to replace former Chief Justice Renato Corona are former energy secretary Raphael ‘Popo’ Lotilla and lawyer Pedro Aquino. 

Also nominated were 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 Katrina Legarda, former UP law dean Raul Pangalangan, former Ateneo law dean Cesar Villanueva, lawyer Nepomuceno Aparis, retired judge Manuel Siayngco, and former assistant provincial prosecutor Cesar Sasondoncillo.

Legarda and Pangalangan have accepted their nominations.

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

Meanwhile, SC insiders who were automatically nominated to the post due to their seniority include Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Arturo Brion, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, and Presbitero Velasco Jr. SC Justices Jose Perez, Lourdes Sereno and Roberto Abad have likewise been nominated to the post.

Also nominated was retired Court of Appeals Justice Hilarion Aquino. 

The Judicial and Bar Council — the body that vets judiciary aspirants to the president — will accept applications and nominations for the post vacated by Corona until June 18, Monday.

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. –