Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is very qualified for the position of Chief Justice, based on the criteria set by the Philippine Constitution.
Trillanes, who is a guest candidate of the administration ticket, however, said it is now up to President Benigno Aquino and the Judicial and Bar Council if she will eventually be included in the list.
“Personally, I’m not interested,” de Lima told reporters in Manila yesterday.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Aquino had expressed “his preference toward the nomination of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares.”
“The personal criteria that we are looking for is that one should have legal knowledge and wisdom to be able to interpret our laws according to its spirit, should have moral integrity and moral character to be able to resist temptations that will come with the position of Chief Justice,” Trillanes said.
Asked if there are other persons he feels are qualified, Trillanes said he would like Raul Palangalan, a former U.P. Dean of the College of Law and columnist of the Philippine Inquirer, who has a good reputation in the legal community.
He said they can also choose one from within or outside the Supreme Court. But his choice from within include Justice Arturo Brion, Teresita De Castro and acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio.
On the other hand, Trillanes said he has signed an unqualified waiver early this month allowing the Office of the Ombudsman to look into his bank accounts for the purpose of reviewing the accuracy of his present and past Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
Trillanes is the national chairman of the Magdalo Para sa Pilipino, which is among the 172 groups seeking to be allowed to run for the House of Representatives in the 2013 party-list elections.
Magdalo filed as a group of retired and former members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as well as its urban poor and the youth members.
Trillanes said Magdalo has about 25,000 members in Negros Occidental who are mostly concentrated in the south, while they have 150,000 members in the country.*CGS