MANILA (2nd UPDATE) – President Benigno Aquino III has appointed Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza as the new Supreme Court Associate Justice, the Palace confirmed.
The announcement of the appointment comes a day after the SC ordered the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to include Jardeleza in the shortlist for the next SC magistrate.
Jardeleza, 64, will take over the post vacated by retired Associate Justice Roberto Abad.
President Aquino signed Jardeleza's appointment paper on August 19. The Palace has already transmitted the letter to the SC.
"By virtue hereof, you may qualify and enter upon the performance of the duties of the office, furnishing this Office and the Civil Service Commission with copies of your oath of office," the appointment letter read.
In a statement, Jardeleza thanked President Aquino for trusting him.
"I am thankful for the trust and confidence that President Aquino exhibited in appointing me to the Supreme Court. Rest assured, I will dispense my duties with competence, integrity, probity and and independence - always bearing in mind the interests of the Filipino people," he said.
Jardeleza, who got four votes from the JBC, was initially removed from the shortlist after Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, as ex-officio chairman of the JBC, objected to his nomination and invoked rule 10, section 2 of the JBC rules.
Under that provision, ''when the integrity of an applicant who is not otherwise disqualified for nomination is raised or challenged, the affirmative vote of all the members of the Council must be obtained for the favorable consideration of his nomination.''
Jardeleza had said the JBC, which chooses names for the judiciary, violated his rights to due process when it gave way to Sereno’s objection even without informing him of the nature and basis.
The high court agreed with Jardeleza and said the latter was denied due process when his name was not included in the shortlist submitted to the Palace despite having obtained a majority vote of 4.
Prior to his appointment at the SC, Jardeleza, as the Solicitor General, represented the government in various litigations such as the case filed by the Philippines against China over the West Philippine Sea before a United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal, and the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Jardeleza became the solicitor general in Febraury 2012, replacing Jose Antonio Cadiz.
Jardeleza, a native of Jaro, Iloilo City, graduated cum laude at the University of the Philippines College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City in 1974. He placed third in the 1974 Bar exams, garnering a general average of 88.35%.
He secured his Master of Laws at Harvard Law School in Massachusetts, USA in 1977.