Aquino to interview CJ aspirants
MANILA, Philippines - The president is set to interview the shortlisted nominees for the post of chief justice this week, communications secretary Ricky Carandang told Rappler on Tuesday, August 21.
Carandang said they are still finalizing the interview schedule, but we gathered from a reliable source that the Palace has already contacted Justice Arturo Brion, one of the 5 Supreme Court (SC) justices nominated for the post. The other SC magistrates are acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, Justices Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Lourdes Sereno, and Roberto Abad.
It was reported over the weekend that Brion and another nominee -- former executive secretary Ronaldo Zamora -- had been interviewed last week.
A source privy to the details of Brion's communication with Malacañang said however that the interview is yet to take place. Aquino is still in Naga City for the wake of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, who died from a plane crash on August 18.
Rappler asked Zamora about his own supposed interview, but the former congressman from San Juan denied it.
"I haven't talked to the President. No one from Malacañang contacted me," he said. "I haven't set foot in Malacañang in 10 years," he added.
Zamora is one of the 3 SC outsiders who have been nominated by the Judicial and Bar Council for the post. Aside from him, the body which screens and vets aspirants to the judiciary for the post also voted for former Ateneo law dean Cesar Villanueva, now head of the Governance Commission for the GOCCs or Government-owned and Controlled Corporations, and Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza.
Before appointing them, Aquino interviewed Sereno and another appointee to the SC, Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe. The President did not interview another nominee, Justice Bienvenido Reyes, whom the President eventually appointed.
The JBC finalized its shortlist on August 13. Aquino has his own judicial search committee however which, he said, does an extensive background check of the nominees. How it works and who compose it are details not divulged to the public.
Aquino told Rappler in June that he is looking for a chief justice "whom his colleagues respect, is learned in law and can manage the Court."
He has until August 27 to select the replacement of dismissed chief justice Renato Corona, who was removed from the post on May 29 for his failure to disclose his P183 million in peso and dollar bank deposits. - Rappler.com
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