JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima allegedly lobbied for her chief-of-staff in order to get the nod from her fellow members of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) for the Court of Appeals (CA) justice portfolio.
Instead of inhibiting herself from the voting, de Lima even went to the
extent of lobbying for lawyer Martin Tirador Menez.
The JBC has shorlisted names for the three vacant positions at the CA.
Menez, a known aide of de Lima, got a perfect six votes for the post left by retired Assoc. Justice Angelita Gacutan.
Menez is the current Program Dir. of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Witness Protection Program (WPP) and is de Lima’s Chief of Staff.
According to an impeachable source, De Lima not only voted for Menez but allegedly lobbied for him to get more votes.
“Delicadeza dictates that de Lima should have inhibited herself from the voting,” the source said. “Di lang n’ya ibinoto, ni-lobby pa n’ya,” the JBC source said.
The JBC is chaired by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal-Sereno with members include Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd (Senate), de Lima (Ex-Officio), Jose Mejia (academe), former CA Justice Aurora Santiago-Lagman (private sector), and Milagros Fernan-Cayosa (Integrated Bar of the Philippines).
Geraldine Fiel-Macaraig got five votes, while aspirants Pablito Perez, Jeoffre Acebido, Cresencio Balasbas, Ma. Celestina Cruz-Mangrobang, Ma. Conchita Lucero-De Mesa and Gabriel Robeniol obtained four votes each.
Under Article VIII, Section 9 of the Constitution, the JBC is mandated to screen and shortlist for the vacant positions in the judiciary.
Applicants who also made it to the shortlist for the position of CA Associate Justice vacated by Rosalinda Asuncion-Vicente include Ma. Filomena Singh who got six votes, while Celso Baguio got five votes, and Philip Aguinaldo, Perpetua Atal-Pano, Emmanuel Fernando, and Wilfreda Nieves both gathered four votes.
Meanwhile, the following applications whose names are also included in the shortlist for the position left by former CA Assoc. Justice Pampilo Abarintos: Selma Alaras, six votes; Rafael Antonio Santos, six votes; Maria Amifaith Fider-Reyes, five votes; Jonel Sebastian Mercardo, five votes; Ruben Reynaldo Roxas, five votes; Divinagracia Bustos-Ongkeko, four votes; Geraldine Faith Econg, four votes, and Alex Monteclar, four votes.