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On Ninoy's 34th death anniversary, we are rededicating EQPost to the lofty ideals of Ninoy. "No to tyranny! No to degradation of dignity!"

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Reflections

“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ex-Danding Lawyer,Jardaleza, No Delicadeza!

Good judges will have good character. 
They will be impartial and honest. Moses challenged the first judges with the following words.
Judge fairly, whether the case is between brother Israelites or between one of them and an alien. Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it (Deut 1:16,17).
How can the solicitor general treat issues fairly when he was the lawyer of the Cojuangcos?
"The Filipino public feeds on sad, angry jokes about corrupt, overbearing lawyers. In large part, we have been characterized as selfish, untruthful, and arrogant, as carrying ourselves with a false sense of entitlement. This public perception must stop.
It is no small matter if each one of you will say in your heart .
'I will not be corrupt and I will not allow anyone to corrupt me.'" Chief Justice Sereno 
Francis Jardeleza, former senior vice president and general counsel of the food and beverage giant San Miguel Corp. (SMC), had vied for various government positions before: as Ombudsman and Supreme Court Justice.
From Inquirer:
Even as it found his move “unusual,” Malacañang said it would still file a comment to Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza’s petition asking the Supreme Court to bar President Benigno Aquino III from appointing a new associate justice to the high tribunal until the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) includes his name on the short list of candidates.
“Of course, the ES (Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa) will comply. It’s a matter of filing a comment to SolGen Jardeleza’s petition. It’s just a little unusual. It’s an unusual situation because, normally, the government is represented by the Office of the Solicitor General,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte in an interview on Saturday over government radio dzRB.
Adding to confusion
To add to the confusion, it is the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) that will be submitting Ochoa’s reply to the petition filed by SolGen Jardeleza.
As the chief government counsel, Jardeleza’s primary client is the President.
“Well, it’s an unusual situation, perhaps the first that we’ve encountered in recent history. But, you know, we’re used to unusual situations and we will proceed as procedure dictates,” Valte, herself a lawyer, said.
President Aquino must appoint a new Supreme Court justice by Aug. 20 to replace Associate Justice Roberto Abad who retired on May 22. The Constitution gives the President three months to fill a vacancy in the high court.
Filed with his personal capacity?
Last week, the Supreme Court gave the JBC—chaired by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Ochoa—10 days to answer Jardeleza’s petition seeking to stop Mr. Aquino from naming a new justice.
Valte said she believed Jardeleza’s petition “was filed in [his] personal capacity.”
“It’s his qualifications that are the crux of the matter. [To] separate the personal [concerns] of SolGen Jardeleza, the OSG is there as an institution. It will be the one to answer in behalf of the executive secretary,” Valte said.
Jardeleza signed petition as SolGen Jardeleza, however, had signed his petition as the solicitor general and used the OSG’s office address.
Jardeleza had also asked the Supreme Court to direct the JBC to include his name on the short list of nominees for associate justice.
The JBC, a constitutional body, screens appointees to the judiciary and the Office of the Ombudsman.
Jardeleza argued that the JBC committed a grave abuse of discretion when it excluded him from the short list without affording him his right to due process.
Integrity issues
He said he was not informed of the nature of the objections against him, as well as the identity of his accusers, and thus could not defend himself.
Jardeleza’s exclusion from the short list reportedly stemmed from objections made by Sereno and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, who both cited “integrity” issues against the solicitor general.
Asked if Malacañang was aware of the questions about Jardeleza’s integrity, Valte said she did not have any information.
“I understand that was supposed to have been discussed during the JBC deliberation,” she said.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno
 “I will serve my fellow Filipinos with integrity and conviction, holding myself to the ideal of justice that refutes the abuse of strength and instead labors to succor the weak…; justice that may serve as one of the several foundations for rebuilding institutions and restoring the people’s faith in good government” Chief Justice Sereno
 “The responsibility of a Supreme Court Associate Justice in the continuing endeavor of national development is indeed formidable. The strengthening of governance by the rule of law needs to be guided by a deep and unadulterated pursuit of truth in all its various dimensions – seeking to uphold what is fundamentally right and fair. I humbly accept this responsibility and by God’s grace commit myself to help fulfill the Filipino’s quest for true justice.” Chief Justice Sereno
Most important qualities of a Supreme Court justice
President Obama eloquently expressed what he believes to be the most important qualities of a US Supreme Court justice when he nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the bench.
"First and foremost is a rigorous intellect -- a mastery of the law, an ability to hone in on the key issues and provide clear answers to complex legal questions. Second is a recognition of the limits of the judicial role, an understanding that a judge's job is to interpret, not make, law; to approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice; a respect for precedent and a determination to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand." 
MANILA, Philippines–Despite efforts by Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza to stop Monday’s vote on the final nominees for the last seat on the Supreme Court (SC), the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) pushed through with the voting and picked four of the 13 nominees.
Jardeleza was not one of them.
The four nominees for the position of Supreme Court associate justice whose names will be submitted to President Aquino for consideration are: Court of Appeals Associate Justices Apolinario Bruselas and Jose Reyes Jr., who received six votes each; and Commission on Audit Chair Grace Pulido-Tan and Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Reynaldo Daway, who got four votes each.
Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te said there were actually five nominees who made it to the JBC short list after they garnered a majority of the votes.
But Te said one nominee could not be included in the short list “because of an invocation of Rule 10, Section 2, of the JBC’s rules.”
He declined to name who had invoked the JBC provision against the nominee.
The nominee Te was obviously referring to was Jardeleza, who had asked the Supreme Court and the JBC to defer Monday voting so he could defend himself against objections to his integrity as a nominee that were raised by Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.
Four votes
Jardeleza reportedly garnered four votes from the JBC. The JBC has seven members but only six voted, in the absence of a replacement for Regino Hermosisima who had left the JBC on July 9, 2009, after serving three terms.
The six JBC members who voted were Sereno, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. (all three being ex officio members), Aurora Lagman, Jose Mejia and Ma. Milagros Fernan-Cayosa.
Jardeleza asked the high court last week not only to defer Monday’s vote but to also bar Sereno from taking part in the voting after she had denied him his right to due process when she challenged his integrity as a nominee and invoked Rule 10, Section 2, of the JBC rules.
Under that provision, “when the integrity of an applicant who is not otherwise disqualified for nomination is raised or challenged, the affirmative vote of all the members of the Council must be obtained for the favorable consideration of his nomination.” From Inquirer
Fighting Judicial Corruption
Citizen confidence in the judicial system requires that judges, lawyers, court clerks, and others associated with the judiciary maintain the highest ethical standards. This requires a variety of measures -- from clearly stated rules on the conduct expected through ethics training to procedures for resolving complaints of unethical or improper behaviour.