Drilon asks new Chief Justice De Castro: 'don't participate in SC political pending cases' - The Daily Sentry

Drilon asks new Chief Justice De Castro: 'don't participate in SC political pending cases'

Composite photo of Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon and newly-appointed CJ Teresita De Castro (photos from RMN PH and Inquirer)

Manila, Philippines – On Tuesday, Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon advised newly appointed Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro to not participate in all pending politically-charged cases at the Supreme Court to avoid doubts and assumptions that her appointment was a mere “reward” for her role in ousting Maria Lourdes Sereno.

He said that De Castro should inhibit herself from participating in any political case in order to uphold the integrity of the Supreme Court (SC).

“All questions, issues, and doubts surrounding the appointment of Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro, particularly with regard to her impartiality, can only be addressed if the newly-appointed chief magistrate refrains from participating in any political case pending before the court,” Drilon said in a statement

“I encourage her to inhibit from politically-charged cases in order to uphold the integrity of the decision that the Supreme Court may make during her short tenure,” he said

If recalled, De Castro was one of the five SC justices who testified against Sereno, who was facing an impeachment case at the House of Representative.

De Castro and six other SC justices are now facing different impeachment complaints for granting the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, instead of pushing  through the constitutional process which was via impeachment – as some of the lawmakers insisted.

Among the pending cases at the SC is former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.’s electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.

The Supreme Court, being the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), is hearing the electoral protest case filed by Marcos camp.

Aside from this, up on the SC’s table is the opposition’s challenge to the President’s decision to withdraw the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC).*

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte earlier rejected the allegations that it was a reward for De Castro’s supposed role in unseating Sereno, and explained that her appointment was based on seniority, a tradition that was broken when former President Noynoy Aquino seated a junior magistrate, to the top judicial post.

"Kung sino 'yung naunang pumasok, siya 'yung unang ma-promote and that would go for everybody," President Duterte said on Monday, as he led the National Heroes Day celebration at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

"I am not familiar of any of them actually. Wala akong kilalang justice na 'yung personal. Truthfully, I have not talked to anyone there. Wala akong kilala. They are all strangers to me." Duterte said, addressing the reporters

The president also condemned lawmakers Edcel Lagman and Gary Alejano who claimed that De Castro’s appointment was a mere incentive.

"I have yet to hear those guys (Alejano, Lagman) state something without malice. They always say the worst. People kagaya niyan judge best when they condemn and they have nothing to show for their time there except to blabber their mouth," Duterte said.

The chief executive explained that post was not given to Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio who is also eligible for the post because of the latter’s reluctance to take the job.