2010 presidential wannabe eyes CJ post

Ferdinand Jose Pijao, a nuisance candidate in the 2010 presidential elections, wants to try his luck getting into the judiciary

MANILA, Philippines – A nuisance candidate in the 2010 presidential elections has accepted his nomination for the chief justice post.

Ferdinand Jose Pijao Sr was nominated by a certain Maria Dulce Pijao. It is not clear if the two are related.

Pijao tried to run for president as an independent candidate in 2010, but his registration was cancelled by the Commission on Elections, along with 11 others.

Pijao is the 13th nominee who accepted his nomination for the chief justice post. The others include 10 Supreme Court “outsiders” — lawyers Vicente Velasquez, Soledad Cagampang-De Castro, Dean Jose Manuel Diokno of De La Salle College of Law, Commission on Elections official Rene Sarmiento, former executive secretary Ronaldo Zamora, retired Judge Manuel Siyangco Jr, former Ateneo law dean Cesar Villanueva, UP professors Katrina Legarda, Rafael Morales and former UP law dean Raul Pangalangan.

Two SC magistrates — Justices Arturo Brion and Roberto Abad — also accepted their nominations. Brion is one of the 5 most senior justices who were automatically nominated for the post of chief justice. The others are Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, Justices Presbitero Velasco, Teresita Leonardo De Castro and Diosdado Peralta. 

Abad, who is considered a “junior” SC justice because he was appointed only recently, is the oldest among the 14 SC justices. Abad will be retiring in 2014 when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70. Other junior justices who  were nominated include Justices Lourdes Sereno, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Mariano del Castillo, Bienvenido Reyes, Jose Mendoza, Jose Perez, Lucas Bersamin and Martin Villarama. Bernabe and Del Castillo have declined.

There are now 54 nominees and applicants for the highest position in the judiciary — 14 SC justices and 40 outsiders

Other SC outsiders were also nominated, but have yet to decide on their nominations are the following:

  • Presidential Commission on Good Government chairman Andres Bautista;
  • Court of Appeals Justice Japar Dimaampao;
  • Malabon University president Ramon Maronilla;
  • Manila regional trial court Judge Amelia Tria-Infante;
  • Lawyers Rey Alejandrino, Alexander Padilla, Renante Terre and Pedro Aquino;
  • Securities and Exchange Commission chairperson Teresita Herbosa;
  • Dean Amado Valdez of the University of the East College of Law;
  • Government peace panel chair Marvic Leonen;
  • Former congressman Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr;
  • former Solicitor-General Francisco “Frank” Chavez;
  • Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner KimHenares;
  • Justice Secretary Leila De Lima;
  • Incumbent Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza; and
  • Dismissed Judge Florentino Floro.

Defeated presidential candidate Gilbert Teodoro, Landphil president Rodolfo Robles, former assistant provincial prosecutor Marianito Sasodoncillo, Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Roan Libarios, former energy secretary Raphael “Popo” Lotilla and lawyer Renato Saguisag turned down their nominations.

Retired Court of Appeals Justice Hilarion Aquino was disqualified because he is already 80 years old.

The sole applicant, Jocelyn Esquivel, could not also be considered for the post because she is not a lawyer. Esquivel is a teacher and a nurse.

The list is still expected to grow following the decision of the Judicial and Bar Council, the body that vets judiciary aspirants to the President, to extend the application and nomination period to July 2.

President Aquino has 90 days from May 29, when dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona was removed, to name Corona’s successor. Corona was found guilty by the impeachment court of violating the Constitution and betraying public trust after he failed to disclose P183 million in peso and dollar accounts in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. – Rappler.com

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