By Xave Gregorio
Opposition Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan called incoming Chief Justice Teresita de Castro an “endo CJ” as she only has two months to serve before she retires.
In a statement, Saturday (August 25), Pangilinan said De Castro’s appointment “does not help in the strengthening of the rule of law.”
“Why appoint someone who will only sit as Chief Justice for less than two months? What public purpose does it serve? What public value does it create? The appointment leaves much to be desired,” he said.
De Castro would reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 on October 8. Malacañang would release her appointment paper on Tuesday (August 28), making her stint at the top of the judiciary lasting only for over a month.
The most senior among the three justices shortlisted for the chief justice post, De Castro was among the eight justices who voted to oust and disqualify Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice in May.
She was also among the magistrates who testified against Sereno during the House justice committee’s hearings on the impeachment complaint against her.
There, she denied that she is motivated by bad blood towards Sereno, who in 2012 clinched the chief justice post instead of her, despite being the most junior among Supreme Court justices then.
However, De Castro was unable to control her emotions in a hearing, where she lamented about Sereno’s supposed disregard for the collegiality of the Court.
De Castro herself now faces an impeachment complaint over her participation in Sereno’s ouster.