De Lima to ‘appeal’ to JBC regarding her pending cases
To be eligible to the chief justice post, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima is likely to appeal to the Judicial and Bar Council the pending cases against her filed with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
“Maybe during the interview… kung kelan maisked. If given a chance to explain, I will tell them, appeal to them kung anong klaseng complaints ‘yun and I will say my piece,” De Lima told reporters on Monday.
“Actually, ‘yung cases na ‘yan, mga ano ‘yan very minor, and in fact, I consider them as harassment cases,” she added.
According to Section 5 of Rule 4 of the Rules of the JBC, if a candidate has a pending administrative or criminal case, he or she will be disqualified.
In a text message to GMA News Online on Monday, IBP president Roan Libarios confirmed that De Lima has a pending case with the IBP.
“We just received the resolution last Wednesday from the Supreme Court. The case involves a case filed by Atty. Sundiam. It was referred to us for investigation,” he said.
Attorney Agustin Sundiam wants to disbar De Lima, accusing her of publicly encouraging [the] bashing of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
“[The disbarment case] is an administrative case but we leave the matter of disqualification to the JBC,” Libarios said.
He added that the Supreme Court has yet to resolve two pending disbarment cases against De Lima.
The High Court has to come up with a resolution and refer disbarment cases to the IBP for investigation. The IBP then will make their recommendation to the court whether the case should be pursued of dismissed.
De Lima has been included in the ‘long list’ published last Friday by the JBC. The recommended nominees will need to undergo public interview and background checks.
The JBC members then will vote for the nominees that will be included on the ‘shortlist’ from which the President will appoint the 24th chief justice on or before August 27.
Earlier, the JBC said that De Lima together with Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, who was tagged in an alleged anomalous purchase of computers, have until July 30 to get their cases dismissed.
If they fail to do so, they will be disqualified.
“It’s not my fault that there are these cases. Ginagawa ko lang naman trabaho ko and then nagiging vulnerable na ako sa ganyang complaints,” De Lima said.
“It is not within my control kung kailan maididispose ‘yan. So dapat maintindihan ‘yan ng JBC,” she noted. — RSJ, GMA News
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