MANILA, Philippines- Justice Secretary Leila De Lima has been nominated to replace Renato Corona as Chief Justice.
De Lima was nominated by Dante Jimenez, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) Founding Chairman, and a group of lawyers from Zambales to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
De Lima, however, may face rough-sailing at the JBC since Sec. 5 on 'Disqualification,' Rule 4 of the Rules of the Judicial and Bar Council states that those with pending criminal or regular administrative cases are disqualified for any judicial post.
De Lima faces at least 3 disbarment cases before the Supreme Court for defying the high court-issued temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Department of Justice's (DOJ) travel ban on former President Gloria Arroyo, and for "offensive utterances" against former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The list of nominees include Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Chief Kim Jacinto-Henares, Atty. Katrina Legarda, former Ateneo Law Dean Cesar Villanueva, Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza, former UP Law Dean Raul Pangalangan and former Laguna Assistant Prosecutor Marianito Sasondocillo.
The 5 most senior Associate Justices of the Supreme Court (SC) are automatically nominated, namely, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, Jr., Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Associate Justice Arturo Brion, and Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta.
The magistrates, however, have to accept the nomination before they may be considered by the JBC.