The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza to defend his case and rebut the position of his mortal nemesis—Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.
During the en banc deliberations of the High Court, Jardeleza was given until Friday to reply to the comments filed by Sereno and the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) which argued that its constitutional duty in selecting the next Associate Justice was already done and it is now up to the president to appoint a new magistrate of the high tribunal.
The SC also wanted Jardeleza to reply to the comment of Malacañang which earlier asked that the Solicitor General be included in the shortlist of nominees for the position left by Associate Justice Roberto Abad who retired in May.
Jardeleza was taken off the list after Sereno and Justice Antonio Carpio blocked his nomination.
But the Palace pleaded with the SC that Jardeleza’s name should be included in the choices of President Benigno Aquino 3rd for the vacant position in the SC.
Malacañang also assailed Section 2, Rule 10 of the Internal Rules of the JBC, which was invoked by Sereno in blocking Jardeleza’s nomination.
It cited that Sereno violated Jardeleza’s right to due process for disqualifying him without giving him a chance to rebut the allegation of Sereno on questions of integrity.
Carpio and Sereno inhibited themselves from the SC deliberations on Tuesday.
The JBC, chaired by Sereno, submitted four names in the shortlist—Court of Appeals Justices Jose Reyes and Apolinario Bruselas, Commission on Audit Chairperson Gracia Pulido-Tan and Quezon City RTC Judge Rogelio Daway.