MANILA, Philippines – Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes has turned down his nomination for the chief justice post, the third Supreme Court magistrate to do so.
In a letter to the Judicial and Bar Council, the body that vets aspirants to the judiciary, Bienvenido said he was deferring to seniority in the high court.
“May I inform this Honorable Body that being one of the most junior members of the court, I defer to the more senior colleagues of mine. Hence, this will serve as my blanket and automatic non-acceptance or declination of any nomination from any person or party to the said position,” he said.
All 14 SC magistrates were nominated for the post. Aside from Reyes, the other “junior” or recently appointed justices who were nominated include Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Mariano Del Castillo, Lourdes Sereno, Jose Perez, Roberto Abad, Lucas Bersamin, Jose Mendoza and Martin Villarama.
Bernabe and Del Castillo earlier declined their nominations. Abad accepted his.
Meanwhile, the 5 senior SC justices — Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, Justices Presbitero Velasco, Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Arturo Brion and Diosdado Peralta — were automatically nominated.
Brion accepted his nomination.
There are now 54 nominees and applicants for chief justice — the 14 SC justices and 40 “outsiders.”
President Aquino has until August 29 to name the successor of dismissed chief justice Renato Corona. 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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