MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino has until November 22 to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Monday.
He said the President has no decision yet on who to appoint as associate justice.
Asked if chief government peace negotiator Marvic Leonen has the edge, Lacierda said that while the President's confidence in Leonen "cannot be denied," Aquino is giving all nominees a fair chance.
He said Aquino intends to interview the nominees.
"Certainly, the fact that he has worked with the President and the President has confidence in Dean Marvic Leonen as a peace negotiator cannot be denied. But the President is fair to all nominees. He has not preempted or neither has he informed us of his choice. And, in that aspect, he would like to evaluate each nominee based on the constitutional standards of probity, independence, and integrity; and, on that basis, he would be talking to all the nominees," Lacierda said.
Quoting unnamed sources, a major daily reported Monday that Leonen is the President's personal choice.