MANlLA, Philippines – Two more junior Supreme Court justices — one of whom former Chief Justice Renato Corona does not see eye-to-eye with — have been nominated to replace him.
SC Associate Justices Lourdes Sereno and Roberto Abad were nominated to the post on June 13 and June 14, respectively. Sereno was nominated by a certain Felma Roel Singco, Reagan De Guzman, and lawyer Fidel Thaddeus Borja. Abad, on the other hand, was endorsed by Dean Nilo Divina of the University of Sto Tomas (UST) Faculty of Civil Law. Abad was a former dean of the UST College of Law.
Corona has sought the inhibition of Sereno in a case involving his impeachment trial, saying her “arrival to the Honorable Court has signaled a new period of difficulty and embarrassment for CJ Corona.”
Sereno had disclosed alleged loopholes in SC deliberations on controversial cases, such as the High Tribunal’s issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) that stopped impeachment proceedings against then Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, an Arroyo appointee. Sereno said she had not yet received a copy of the petition when the SC decided to issue the TRO.
The issuance of the TRO in the case of Gutierrez was included in the 8 Articles of Impeachment filed against Corona. Corona was eventually convicted by the Senate sitting as an impeachment court on May 29 for failing to disclose P183 million in peso and dollar bank deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Sereno is the first appointee of President Benigno Aquino III to the High Court. She was appointed in 2010, while Abad was appointed to the SC in 2009.
SC Justice Jose Perez has also been recommended to the highest post in the judiciary.
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.
SC outsiders who have been nominated, on the other hand, include Commission on Election official Rene Sarmiento, Dean Amado Valdez from the University of the East, former energy secretary Raphael Lotilla, lawyer Pedro Aquino government, Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Roan Libarios, peace panel chair Marvic Leonen, former congressman Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr, former Solicitor-General Francisco “Frank” Chavez, Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, Justice 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, former assistant provincial prosecutor Cesar Sasondoncillo and 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 on May 29 after he failed to declare P183 million in peso and dollar bank deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. –Rappler.com