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Solons laud Duterte's decision to bring back 'seniority' as basis for choice of CJ.

By Ben Rosario

Administration congressmen lauded on Monday President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to bring back "seniority" as a strong basis in the consideration of appointment of chief justice of the Supreme Court.

In a press conference, Mindoro Oriental Rep. Doy Leachon said former President Benigno Aquino III's appointment of the youngest member in ousted Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno may have triggered the various controversies hurled against her designation as top magistrate.

"Kapag na-appoint iyong pinakabata and she has to stay there for about 20 years, maraming ma-de-deprive of that dream and that definitely would cause the erosion of the cooperation among members of the SC," explained Leachon, chairman of the House committee on justice.

In the same press conference, ANAC IP Party-list Rep. Jose Panganiban said Duterte's decision is highly commendable and fully accepted by most members of the Philippine Bar.

"If everybody is qualified, you have to consider seniority," said Panganiban.

Duterte reportedly made seniority a principal basis for appointing De Castro who is clearly the most senior among the top three nominees for the post vacated as a result of Sereno's ouster.

De Castro is left with only two months to act as SC chief justice.

Making seniority as a basis for appointment in the judiciary will help maintain "the integrity of the court" and respect among members of the bench.

He noted that Sereno's tenure as chief jusice was confronted with difficulties of making senior SC justices follow her management style.

"It will be difficult to lead like what we had before (by) appointing the most junior. It would be very hard on the part of the senior members to follow for obvious reasons," Leachon noted.

He added: "That is why I think in order to revive it, the President definitely made a good job despite the criticisms of so many that Chief Justice De Castro will be sitting only for a period of two months."

Leachon explained the ultimate dream of lawyers is to become a member of the Supreme Court someday.

"All throughout their lives, the first one to be appointed as the member of the Supreme Court, all throughout his or her life, has been dreaming to become the chief justice," he said.

Thus, being robbed of that opportunity by a junior in the profession will make it difficult for those who have been overlooked to accept.



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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Aug 27, 2018
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