Defensor-Santiago, 3 others nominated for chief justice

The 4 who have been recently endorsed for the post are all legal experts


SECOND TIME. Santiago was nominated for the post of chief justice before.

MANILA, Philippines – Four legal luminaries have been nominated for the post of chief justice: two senators who held contrasting stance on the impeachment trial of dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona, a constitutionalist and a former ombudsman.

A reliable source told Rappler that Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Franklin Drilon, former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo and consitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas have been recommended for the post vacated by Corona on May 29.

Drilon was one of the 20 senators who voted for Corona’s removal for his failure to declare P183 million in peso and dollar bank deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and networth. Santiago was one of the 3 senators who voted for Corona’s acquittal.

Drilon is a partymate of President Aquino. He previously said however that he is not interested in the position. He and Bernas were nominated by laywer Nicasio Tan. 

Bernas also plans to decline his nomination because of his age. “I’m overaged. I’m 80, 10 years older than 70, the retirement age for an SC justice,” he told Rappler on the sidelines of the oral arguments on the PLDT ownership issue at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, June 26.

Meanwhile, Santiago was recommended by Victor del Rosario, president of JDR Mission Partners, a charitable Christian group. She was first nominated for chief justice in 2006, but was not appointed. She is now bound for the International Criminal Court, where she won a seat last year.

Marcelo was nominated for the chief justice post by retired SC Justice Florentino Feliciano. Marcelo was appointed Ombudsman in 2002 by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He resigned in 2005. He is now a senior partner in the Villaraza, Cruz, Marcelo and Angangco law firm, popularly know as The Firm. –

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