MANILA - Malacanang has not yet chosen anyone to fill in the vacancy in the Supreme Court following the retirement of Associate Justice Roberto Abad.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made the clarification amid reports that Malacanang has asked the high court to order the JBC to include Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza in the short list for the replacement of Abad, who retired in May.
"The President has not yet exercised his discretion in appointing a nominee. What the Solicitor General is questioning is the discretion exercised by the Judicial and Bar Council,” Lacierda said.
The Palace, through Deputy Executive Secretary Michael Aguinaldo, said Jardeleza’s right to due process was violated since the body tasked to screen appointees to the judiciary did not give him the chance to answer Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno’s opposition.
Jardeleza was dropped by the JBC from the short list of nominees last June 30 despite getting 4 votes from the panel, which was enough for him to be included in the short list.
Some of the other nominees, such as Commission on Audit chief Grace Pulido Tan, also got 4 votes.
Lacierda explained Aquino has yet to meet with the nominees.
He said Malacanang will leave it to the magistrates to rule on Jardeleza’s petition.
Malacanang was asked to comment on the petition of Jardeleza, who questioned the actions of the JBC. – from a report by Jorge Carino, ABS-CBN News