DOJ Secretary’s quest to be Chief Justice
Did Secretary Leila De Lima commit blunder in accepting the nomination?
Will she be one of the three to be indorsed by the JBC to P-Noy?
The way I read the portion of the interview with Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima seems she will not beat the July 30 deadline to qualify her for the Chief Justice position. In what way she may not qualify?
It is her pending cases before the Integrated Bar Council. Granting from today the two cases for disbarment are dismissed, will the Judicial and Bar Council need not wait for the finality?
Supreme Court Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, JBC presiding officer, about her pending disbarment case. “If you are appointed and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ recommendation whether to dismiss, suspend, disbar will come to the court, you can imagine the problem we will confront if you are the sitting chief justice. What are we going to do? Is it more prudent to let us decide the disbarment proceedings before anything else?”
Usually, the rule for the dismissal of a case to become final and executory is after 15 days. So, from today, July 27, she has to count 15 days from tomorrow July 28 to end on August 11. This is discounting the possibility the accuser not filing a motion for reconsideration.
However, if JBC has a different rule from the Rules of Court, and considers the dismissal without attaining finality, then, her acceptance of the nomination and applying for the position of Chief Justice will not be in vain.
JBC may be the same as the Supreme Court of not being a fool that does not change mind, thus the flip-flop decisions. JBC may ignore the rule to give the DOJ secretary a chance for her paper to reach the hands of P-Noy. Once it reaches the hands of the president we are sure she will be the next chief justice. It is a done deal, because as she answered the interviews she replied she has to talk first with the president. And she did. The president, according to the president, said it is her right to accept the nomination and file an application. Whether or not she was given assurance to be the next chief justice is already implied.
If the president who is not a fool change his mind and appoint other than her, she should not be disappointed, because in French C’est la vie (English, “That is life.”).
Justice Secretary De Lima is very well qualified to be Chief Justice, unless the male majority members of the JBC have gender discrimination. The JBC members are like us imperfect persons susceptible to commit errors and omissions. If they commit mistake on the basis of discrimination, it will be bad for the judicial system.
Although, we know there are trial court judges who intentionally favors a litigant or counsel of the litigant in spite of KNOWINGLY RENDERING AN UNJUST JUDGMENT. It is no longer an error or omission, but like Satan the Devil who is one of the angels in Heaven turned his back against his Creator. Some of the trial court judges, though, learned in law are adjudged ignorant of the law.
A precedent is the finding guilty of deposed Chief Justice Renato Corona. His knowledge in law led his debasement before the world. He was vilified during the impeachment proceeding by his accusers. It is not enough that a person is knowledgeable in law, but that knowledge should be coupled with honesty and sincerity to assist litigants in their pursuit of truth and justice.
In the Book of Deuteronomy 16: 19, 20, states: “You must not pervert judgment. You must not be partial or accept a bribe, for the bribe blinds the eyes of wise ones and distorts the words of righteous ones. Justice—justice you should pursue, in order that you may keep alive and may indeed take possession of the land that Jehovah your God is giving you.”- New World Translation of the Holy Scripture.
Hopefully, those who are aspiring to be in the judiciary will be reminded of the preceding quotation. To ignore God’s warning will mean the end of their life, without hope of resurrection.
Justice De Lima has contributed much of her life in handling justice, if ever she fails to covet the seat of the Chief Justice, she should pursue on cleaning the Department of Justice of incompetent prosecutors. She has to continue what she started in the justice department to make litigants receive a fair judicial treatment. (Feedback welcome, firstname.lastname@example.org)
By: Fidel D. Banzon
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