Miriam, Drilon nominated for Chief Justice

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 26 2012 01:24 PM | Updated as of Jun 27 2012 11:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) - Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Sen. Franklin Drilon have been nominated for Chief Justice.

Santiago is an incumbent Senator of the Senate of the Philippines and a Judge-elect of the International Criminal Court.

She is a lawyer, a former trial court judge, and professor of Constitutional and International Law.

Victor Del Rosario of Naval, Biliran, nominated Santiago.

"The undersigned humbly recommends an incumbent Senator of the Republic of the Philippines, Prof. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, for the position of Chief Justice, subject to her ratification or later consent thereof. I firmly believe that her intellectual prowess, conscientious scholarship and, most of all, her unassailable character, will inspire the trust, confidence, and respect of the Bar, the Bench and the general public," Del Rosario's endorsement read.

Santiago served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation in 1988, and Secretary of Agrarian Reform from 1989 to 1991 under Pres. Corazon Aquino.

Among her awards is the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service which she received at age 43. She was also named one of "The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World" in 1997 by a popular Australian magazine.

Santiago was born in 1945 in Iloilo City to Benjamin Santiago, a district trial judge, and Dimpna, a college dean.

She completed her law degree at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City. She graduated cum laude and class valedictorian.  She also completed her Master of Laws and doctorate degree on the Science of Jurisprudence. She also pursued postdoctoral studies in law at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, University of California, at Berkeley, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and attended the Hague Academy of Public International Law at The Hague, Netherlands, and at Sophia University, Tokyo.

She ran for President in 1992.

This is not the first time that Santiago was endorsed as a candidate for the top judicial post. In 2006, a group of young lawyers nominated her for Chief Justice to replace Artemio Panganiban.

Drilon gets nominated

Drilon, an ally of Pres. Aquino, served in the Philippine Senate in the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th Congress. He was Senate president in 2000, and from 2001 to 2006.

He was born on November 28, 1945, in Iloilo City, to Cesar M. Drilon, Sr. and Primitiva M. Drilon, both deceased.

Drilon served as Justice Secretary during the [Corazon] Aquino and Ramos administrations. He was also Executive Secretary from 1991-1992, and Labor Secretary from 1987 to 1990.

Drilon is the current chairman of the Liberal Party.

Former Ombudsman also nominated

Another new nominee is former Ombusman and former Solicitor General Simeon Marcelo.

Prior to joining government, Marcelo was a Senior Partner of the then Carpio Villaraza & Cruz Law Offices (presently Villaraza Cruz Marcelo and Angangco).

He was the principal private prosecutor in the impeachment case against former President Joseph Estrada, and subsequently served as head prosecutor in Estrada's criminal prosecution for plunder.

Marcelo completed his law degree from the University of the Philippines (UP).

Marcelo was also nominated, along with Corona, in 2010 to replace then Chief Justice Reynato Puno.