MANILA, Philippines - One of those who nominated Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for the chief justice post is opposing the inclusion of Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio in the race for the highest position in the judiciary.
Dante Jimenez, president of the group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, filed an opposition against Carpio before the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), the body that screens nominees for judicial posts.
In his letter dated July 10, Jimenez said Carpio will be a "biased" chief justice because he represents the "old boys' club" in the Supreme Court that is "in the same league as the impeached former Chief Justice Renato Corona."
Meanwhile, in an interview with Rappler on June 11, Jimenez said De Lima is the most qualified nominee due to her "competence, diligence, integrity and independence."
He added that de Lima has proven she can be independent since the time she rated former President Gloria Arroyo's human rights record as "dismal." De Lima chaired the Commission on Human Rights under Arroyo.
"If appointed [as chief justice], she will perform the same kind of independence," Jimenez said.
De Lima, an ally of President Benigno Aquino III, is considered a frontrunner in the race for the chief justice position.
But if Aquino follows the tradition of appointing the most senior SC justice, Carpio will have the position in the bag.
Malacañang insiders told Rappler, however, that Aquino is leaning towards appointing an SC "outsider."
He has until the end of August to make up his mind and pick Corona's replacement. Corona was removed by the impeachment court from his post on May 29 for his failure to declare P183 million in peso and bank deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and networth. - Rappler.com