PRESIDENT Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd is annoyed with Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal-Sereno for pitching for Commission on Audit chief Gracia Pulido-Tan for a vacant seat in the Supreme Court (SC).
According to a well-placed source of The Manila Times, Sereno has been sending text messages to the President for the appointment of Tan, her favorite for the post left by Associate Justice Roberto Abad, who retired last May.
The Chief Justice has been in constant communication with Aquino since June 30, when the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) submitted to him a shortlist of nominees for the vacancy.
Sereno heads the JBC.
The Times source said the President expressed dismay with the Chief Justice picking Tan over Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza.
But Sereno, according to the source, continued to insist that Tan is better than all of the candidates on the shortlist containing only four names—Tan, Court of Appeals Justices Jose Reyes and Apolinario Bruselas and Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Rogelio Daway with four votes.
Jardeleza also got four votes but was disqualified due to objections of Sereno.
With the insistent pleas of Sereno to an irritated Aquino, Tan is now in danger of not getting the post, according to The Times source.
“Nakukulitan si Pnoy kaka-text ni Sereno para si Pulido-Tan ang i-appoint. Alam mo naman si Pnoy habang pinipilit lalong umaayaw [Sereno’s text messages are exasperating for the President. You know him, the more you pester him, the more he resents you],” the source said.
Pnoy is short for President Noynoy.
Aquino is said to be also peeved with Sereno not dissenting with a recent SC decision declaring the Disbursement Acceleration Prog–ram (DAP) unconstitutional.
Another Palace source said the shortlist of nominees is now in danger of being returned by Malacañang to the JBC.
Sereno and Associate Justices Bienvenido Reyes, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Marvic Leonen are the four appointees of Aquino in the High Court who also made possible the 13-0 vote against the DAP, supposedly an economic stimulus.
“All four appointees of the President did not deliver on the DAP issue. One more reason why Aquino is angry with them,” the source said.