Duterte on SC picks: I will not interfere


DAVAO - Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he will not interfere with the appointment of justices to the Supreme Court.

"There's a body there, I will not interfere. Iyun ang pinili nila, then that's it," Duterte told reporters.

A President traditionally appoints the high court's Chief Justice and associate justices, based on a shortlist of nominees drawn by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

During the press conference, Duterte said he will make sure that none of the SC magistrates that he will appoint is corrupt.

"Of course, tingnan ko naman na kapag corrupt ito. Mamili na sila kung sinong gusto, then go," he added.

Former DILG chief Mar Roxas earlier said the next President will be appointing up to 11 SC justices since most of the incumbent magistrates are nearing retirement age.

In the press briefing, Duterte said he will implement the same "hands off" approach when it comes to promotions and assignments in the Philippine Army.

"Just like the Army, gusto mo promotion or maybe assignment, you go to the Board of Generals. You go to your chief, do not go to me," he said.

"Ako, andito lang sa itaas. What you do, I support. What you cannot do, I will supply it."

READ: Duterte: Don't call me for favors, promotions

Duterte's predecessors have come under fire for allegedly questionable choices in the appointment of SC officials.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed late SC Chief Justice Renator Corona within two days after the 2010 presidential elections and a month before Arroyo's term ends. Corona was later impeached and removed from office for failing to disclose his wealth in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

Outgoing President Benigno Aquino, meanwhile, has been criticized for appointing a former classmate, Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, as associate justice.