Drilon, Santiago turn down CJ nominations

18 nominees have said no to the race for the highest position in the judiciary

NOT FOR US. Senators Santiago and Drilon have set their sight on different positions - Drilon wants to stay as senator, Santiago will head off to the international criminal court.

MANILA, Philippines – Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago and Franklin Drilon have declined their respective nominations for the post of chief justice.

Santiago said she would rather serve in the International Criminal Court, while Drilon said he wants to finish his term in the Senate. Drilon was elected in 2010 and will stay in his post until 2016.

“It’s more fun in the Senate,” he told reporters in a press briefing.

A source from the Judicial and Bar Council said though both Drilon and Santiago have yet to formally notify the council. The JBC vets nominees for the judiciary to the President.

Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Francisco Villaruz Jr, meanwhile, has officially declined his nomination for the highest position in the judiciary.

This brings the number of those who have declined to 18. They include 4 SC justices and 14 court “outsiders.”

Those who have declined are:

  • Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Jose Mendoza, Bienvenido Reyes and Mariano del Castillo
  • Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Andres Reyes and CA Justices Magdangal de Leon and Gabriel Ingles 
  • Constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas 
  • Executive Secretary Paquito ‘Jojo’ Ochoa
  • Former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro
  • Lawyer Rene Saguisag 
  • Lawyer Pedro Aquino 
  • Prosecutor Marianito Sasondoncillo,
  • Integrated Bar of the Philippines President Roan Libarios
  • Landphil CEO Rodolfo Robles
  • Former energy secretary Raphael ‘Popo’ Lotilla


There are now 66 nominees for the post of chief justice.

Automatically nominated for the post are the 5senior justices — acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Arturo Brion, Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Diosdado Peralta and Presbitero Velasco.

President Aquino has until August 29 to appoint Corona’s replacement. 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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