Lagman accuses JBC of ‘indecent alacrity’ with CJ shortlist



A Liberal Party (LP) solon has accused the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) of acting “with indecent alacrity” after recommending Supreme Court Associate Justices Teresita De Castro, Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin as candidates for the vacant position of Chief Justice.

Lagman said the JBC should have considered “with requisite deliberation the disqualification” of the justices in view of the pendency of the impeachment cases “which are akin to or even more serious than an administrative case whose pendency bars the appointment of any applicant to a judicial position.”

“The shortlist was finalized by the JBC in less than 24 hours after the aforesaid justices were charged with culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust together with four other associate justices who voted for the ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourder Sereno in an irregular and improper quo warranto petition.

On Thursday (August 23), De Castro, Peralta, and Bersamin together with four other SC magistrates were slapped with separate impeachment charges who voted in favor of the removal of Sereno through a quo warranto case filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida.

The three officials are currently the most senior in the present roster of the high tribunal, with the exclusion of acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio.

Carpio has recently begged-off from being nominate by the JBC, citing “delicadeza” since he’s not in favor of the mode in which Sereno was removed despite having their own rivalry and irreconcilable differences.

Lagman stressed that the JBC should withdraw momentarily the shortlist and re-open the filing of applications fOR the position of Chief Justice since the three officials are not qualified since the said impeachment complaints “are deemed pending just like unresolved criminal and administrative cases.”

He earlier insisted that the impeachment complaints will frustrate the aspiration of the concerned justices for nomination and/or appointment to the vacant position of Chief Justice.

On Friday, the House leadership disclosed that the impeachment raps against the seven SC justices will be expedited and “have it read out on Tuesday” in the plenary so it does not really disturb the legislative agenda of the chamber.

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