PNoy to interview SC justice aspirants

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2014 04:41 PM | Updated as of Mar 22 2014 02:19 AM

MANILA - President Aquino will interview the applicants for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino will sit down and interview the names in the shortlist that will be submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council.

"The President normally keeps a distance until such time that the final list is submitted to him and at which point, as in his practice in judicial appointees to the Supreme Court or judicial nominees to the Supreme Court, he takes time to sit down with the nominees and interview them and assess and gauge those in the list."

Meantime, Malacañang vouched for the qualifications of Commission on Audit Chair Grace Pulido Tan and Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza for the position of Supreme Court associate justice.

Tan and Jardeleza are among the people being scrutinized by the Judicial and Bar Council to take over the post of retiring Justice Roberto Abad.

"We've worked more directly with Solicitor (General) Francis Jardeleza because he's the lawyer for the Executive branch. He's very qualified. His years in practice as a private practitioner and also now as Solicitor General, and previously as Deputy Ombudsman, his record speaks for itself," Lacierda said.

He also said Tan's record speaks for itself, noting that she has shown her competence in both the private and public sectors.

Tan served with the Presidential Commission on Good Government and the Department of Finance before joining COA.

Her tenure at the COA has been marked by the release of the special audit on the priority development assistance funds of legislators from 2007 to 2009 amid the investigation on the pork barrel scam.

Lacierda said that until the JBC comes up with the shortlist that will be submitted to President Aquino, the Palace is staying out of the selection process.

Under the Constitution, the President appoints a justice from the JBC shortlist.