Supreme Court asked to set oral arguments on chief justice appointment petitions

Supreme Court asked to set oral arguments on chief justice appointment petitions
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Two lawyers asked the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday to set for oral arguments the consolidated petitions seeking to allow President Arroyo to appoint the successor of Chief Justice Reynato Puno.

In separate motions of intervention, Peter Irving Corvera and Christian Robert Lim said petitions of the Philippine Constitution Association and lawyers Jaime Soriano, Arturo de Castro and Estelito Mendoza involve issues of “transcendental importance” imbued with public interest that need the SC’s full appreciation.

“It is of paramount importance to set the case for oral arguments to sufficiently determine which legal position is entitled to credence and to be able to expose sham allegations and hidden agenda concerning the prayer to immediately appoint a Chief Justice, notwithstanding the clear mandate of Section 15, Rule VII of the Constitution, among jurisprudence,” Lim said.

On the other hand, Corvera said an oral argument before the full SC is necessary to better thresh out the constitutional issues presented and to provide all the parties the opportunity to be heard and respond to questions.

Corvera and Lim are against the consolidated petitions that sought to compel the Judicial and Bar Council to submit the shortlist of candidates and allow Mrs. Arroyo to appoint the next chief justice.

The position of chief justice is covered by the appointment ban, contrary to the belief of petitioners, they added.

New special prosecutor,  deputy ombudsman named

Malacañang has named a new special prosecutor and a deputy ombudsman for Luzon.

Wendell Barreras-Sulit and Mark Jalandoni took their oaths of office before SC Associate Justices Renato Corona and Teresita de Castro Wednesday night.

Barreras-Sulit took over as special prosecutor from Dennis Villa-Ignacio, who retired on Feb. 24, while Jalandoni replaced Victor Fernandez, who retired in March.

Barreras-Sulit, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Special Prosecutor since October 2008, said she will work hard to improve the public’s perception of the office.

Jalandoni headed the anti-graft agency’s Field Investigation Office as assistant ombudsman before his appointment.

Meanwhile, Malacañang also named Norberto Geraldez as presiding justice, taking over from Ma. Cristina Estrada, who retired last November.

Geraldez was not able to take his oath because he is in the US.

The 60-year-old justice, a former partner in the ACCRA law firm, was the chairman of the anti-graft court’s First Division.

Makati Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Ma. Cristina Cornejo was appointed associate justice of the Sandiganbayan.

Other appointees were regional trial court Judges Paulino Gallegos (Manila), Anjanette de Leon-Ortille (Marikina), Teodora Gonzales (Malolos), Dennis Alcantara (Cagayan de Oro City), Bonifacio Macabaya (Cagayan de Oro City), Gamor Disalo (Marawi City) and Antonio Guiling (Marawi City).

Judge Eric Banasan of the municipal trial court of San Mateo, Isabela and Judges Maria Gilda Pangilinan and Janet Samar of the metropolitan trial court of Quezon City. – Edu Punay, Michael Punongbayan

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.