Aquino on JBC shortlist for CJ: ‘Unfair’

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President Benigno Aquino III is dissatisfied with his choices for chief justice submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council

MANILA, Philippines – He is dissatisfied with the choices he got for chief justice, President Benigno Aquino III said Friday, August 17, as he complained of “unfair” treatment that his reportedly favored candidate received.

Palagay ko hindi parehas ang nangyari,” Aquino said of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) shortlist that excluded Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, whom he himself convinced to accept her nomination for chief justice. (I think it was unfair.)

TOP CHOICE. Justice Secretary Leila De Lima is reportedly President Benigno Aquino III's most favored choice for chief justice. Photo from Malacañang Photo Bureau

The JBC disqualified De Lima due to disbarment cases against her. Under JBC rules, nominees with disbarment and administrative cases cannot seek judiciary posts.

In an ambush interview, Aquino explained the JBC did not disqualify other candidates who also had pending cases. He said some who did not have pending cases, on the other hand, got disqualified. “Paano naging fair ‘yon?” (How did that become fair?)

But the President said he has no choice but to accept the JBC’s decision. “The Constitution tells me that I have to choose from the list that they submitted,” Aquino said.

He said he will make his choice before the August 27 deadline.

Earlier, De Lima herself complained of her disqualification. “Why was I singled out?” De Lima said. –

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