Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio topped the short list of eight candidates that the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) announced on Monday, but a senator said he believed the next Chief Justice would either be Associate Justice Lourdes Sereno or Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza.
Sereno is President Benigno Aquino III’s first appointee to the high tribunal who held the minority view in its recent ruling regarding the just compensation to workers of Hacienda Luisita, which is owned by his family.
Jardeleza is a lawyer associated with the Chief Executive’s uncle, businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson told reporters he had information that the choice for the post of ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona would be a toss-up between Sereno, 52, and Jardeleza, 62.
“That’s not a fearless forecast. I just heard that they are the front-runners but don’t take it seriously,” he said.
Palace insiders told the Inquirer that the front-runner was Jardeleza, who has been criticized for his role as lawyer in the questionable use of coconut levy funds administered by Cojuangco during the regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to acquire shares of stock in San Miguel Corp. Jardeleza later became corporate counsel in SMC, of which Cojuangco is chair.
The Supreme Court still has pending cases to resolve in connection with sequestered SMC shares now worth more than P100 billion.
During the JBC interviews, the 62-year-old Carpio expressed fears that the appointment of an outsider as Chief Justice would lead to demoralization in the judiciary following the emotional Senate trial that removed Corona. Carpio then denied Corona’s claims that he had conspired with Malacañang to oust his erstwhile rival.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, regarded as Malacañang’s choice, was not on the short list announced on Monday by the Supreme Court from which Mr. Aquino will choose Corona’s replacement.
A last-ditch effort to put De Lima on the list failed after a JBC member said she had failed to get a consensus among the eight members to suspend its rules that prohibited the consideration of nominees with pending administrative cases. De Lima is facing disbarment cases for badmouthing Corona and ignoring a Supreme Court order.
- Carpio leads eight nominees (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Candidates – JBC (legalnotes.wordpress.com)
- JBC disqualifies de Lima; 8 names in shortlist (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Acting-Chief Justice Antonio Carpio tops JBC shortlist (rojan88.wordpress.com)
- Carpio, chief justice nominees’ fate known today (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Farmers say no to pro-Aquino Chief Justice (bulatlat.com)
- Presbitero Velasco – the dark horse in the race for Chief Justice (rightonthemark.wordpress.com)
- ‘Verification process’ at Hacienda Luisita, a ploy (bulatlat.com)
- Kim Henares, Leila de Lima – Chief Justice until year 2030? (rightonthemark.wordpress.com)
- Carpio wants judges to be computer literate (technology.inquirer.net)