Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban wants President Rodrigo Duterte to impose some “balance” in the Supreme Court by appointing veterans in the judiciary rather than outsiders.
In his Inquirer column, Panganiban felt happy that the shortlist of nominees submitted to Duterte for the two vacancies on Dec. 16 (Associate Justice Jose Perez) and 29 (Associate Justice Arturo Brion) were heavy on career jurists from the Court of Appeals and Sandiganbayan.
Nominated for Perez’s seat were all career jurists: CA Justices Apolinario D. Bruselas Jr., Japar B. Dimaampao, Andres B. Reyes Jr. and Jose C. Reyes Jr., and Sandiganbayan Justice Samuel R. Martires.
Nominated for Brion’s seat were CA Justices Bruselas, Dimaampao, Reyes, Rosmari D. Carandang, Amy C. Lazaro-Javier and Noel G. Tijam, and Centro Escolar University Law Dean Rita Linda V. Jimeno.
Panganiban said nominating mostly career jurists was a “wise” move “given that the last three Court appointees -Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, Francis H. Jardeleza and Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa – were from the noncareer service,” said Panganiban.
Leonen was the chief peace negotiator of the Aquino administration while Jardaleza was its solicitor-general and Caguioa was it’s justice secretary.
“All these three are eminently deserving, but to balance the Supreme Court’s composition, I recommended, as a JBC consultant, that career jurists should now be given the chance to rise,” said Panganiban.