2 CA justices decline CJ nomination

There are now 65 nominees for the post of chief justice

MANILA, Philippines – Two Court of Appeals justices on Monday, June 25, turned down their nomination for chief justice.

CA Justices Magdangal De Leon and Gabriel Ingles told Rappler that they have already informed the Judicial and Bar Council – the body that vets nominees for the President – their decision to decline their nomination.

Magdangal said that he would rather not vie for the position because the tradition of seniority in the High Court must be upheld. “It will minimize politics,” he said. Another nominee, former energy secretary Raphael ‘Popo’ Lotilla, previously declined his nomination for the same reason.

Ingles, on the other hand, said he has aired his views on the impeachment trial of dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona and it would be improper for him to aspire for the position.

“There are more qualified nominees and I strongly feel that having openly expressed my view in favor of the impeachment, it would be improper for [me] to even show a little interest in the position,” he told Rappler. “I will not be credible and it will not reflect well on the judiciary that justices appear to be involved in a conflict of interest situation.”

A total of 13 nominees have already declined their nomination – 4 Supreme Court justices and 10 SC outsiders. Aside from De Leon, Ingles and Lotilla, these include:

a. Executive Secretary Paquito ‘Jojo’ Ochoa

b. SC Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Jose Mendoza, Bienvenido Reyes and Mariano del Castillo

c. former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro

d. lawyer Renato Saguisag

e.Prosecutor Marianito Sasondoncillo,

f. Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) President Roan Libarios

g. Landphil CEO Rodolfo Robles 

Senator Francis Escudero, a member of the JBC, said there are now 65 applicants and nominees. He said on Monday, June 25, that they will not release the names of those who have not confirmed or accepted their nomination because the nomination could be a “joke.”

He added that some of those who were nominated were not even aware that they had already been endorsed for the highest post in the judiciary. – Rappler.com

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