Davao del Norte judge joins roster of CJ bets

MANILA A trial court judge in Davao del Norte has applied for the position of Chief Justice (CJ), Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed on Thursday.

Guevarra, an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), said Judge Virginia Tejano-Ang of the Tagum City, Davao Del Norte Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 1 submitted her application on the last day of filing for nomination and application for CJ post.

In September 2014, Tejano-Ang had issued an arrest warrant against a suspect in the killing of a local radio anchor.

Guevarra also said the SC justices and other candidates nominated for CJ post need not formally decline if they are not interested to apply.

There's no need to decline. If you don't express your acceptance and submit the requirements, you're not considered at all, he said in a text message sent to reporters.

Leonen, Velasco decline CJ post nomination

Meanwhile, Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Presbitero Velasco Jr., declined their nomination for the top judiciary post.

"In my view, the agreeement among the members that the next Chief Justice should come from the five most senior incumbent justices is a rational policy based on past experience. I defer to the five most senior Members of the Court, in the order of their seniority," Leonen said in a letter to Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and the JBC.

Velasco, meanwhile, declined the nomination because of his impending retirement from the judiciary on August 8.

Carpio, the most senior justice of the High Court, earlier declined the nomination stating that he did not want to benefit from the ouster of then Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

De Castro joins search for next CJ

Meanwhile, Associate Justice Teresita de Castro formally accepted her nomination for the Chief Justice post.

De Castro, was appointed by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and is the third most senior justice of the SC.

Prior to her appointment to the SC, de Castro served as a law clerk at the High Court, state counsel for the Department of Justice (DOJ), and presiding justice of the Sandiganbayan. She penned the ruling convicting former president Joseph Estrada of plunder.

In the SC, she was also the magistrate who penned the decision that declared Estrada eligible to run as mayor of Manila in 2015.

In her ponencia, she held that although Estrada was convicted of plunder by the Sandiganbayan, the pardon subsequently granted to him by Arroyo restored his civil and political rights.

She is set to retire from the SC in October, when she reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.

There were five candidates for the chief justice post to be screened by the JBC, the seven-member council tasked to vet nominees to judicial posts.

Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin and Andres Reyes Jr. have also accepted their nomination for chief justice earlier this week. All three also voted in favor of the quo warranto petition which ousted Sereno.

On Tuesday, Bersamin was the first to submit his acceptance of the nomination for the top judiciary post.

On Wednesday, Peralta and Reyes have submitted letters stating their acceptance of the nominations.

Retired Sandiganbayan justice and former JBC member Raoul Victorino earlier nominated all incumbent SC justices for the Chief Justice post.

The JBC has set its first deliberation for the Chief Justice post on Aug. 3, a week after the deadline for the submission of applications and nominations ends on Thursday. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency