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De Castro to assume chief justice post on Tuesday

By: August 26,2018 - 09:30 PM

De Castro

Newly appointed Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro will assume her new position on Tuesday, August 28.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio confirmed that after taking her oath, De Castro will preside her first en banc (full court) session as chief justice.

She will also preside the oral argument on the constitutionality of the government’s withdrawal of membership from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

De Castro was appointed Chief Justice a day after the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) submitted the shortlist of candidates to President Rodrigo Duterte.

She will stay in office for only 44 days from August 28 to October 10, 2018.

For Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros, De Castro’s stint as Chief Justice is expected to be “short and bitter.”

Hontiveros urged the public to be “extra vigilant” on the possible effects of the appointment of De Castro on the country’s democratic institutions.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council, said on Saturday that De Castro has been selected by Duterte to be the next chief magistrate.

According to Hontiveros, the appointment of De Castro might affect the issues on the electoral protest of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo and the country’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.

“While the new Chief Justice’s term will be the shortest, it could also be long enough to cause further damage to our already battered democratic institutions,” she said in a statement.

Hontiveros also said that President Rodrigo Duterte used the “shortest and surest” way in putting the Supreme Court under his hands.

De Castro was among three candidates selected and proposed by the Judicial and Bar Council to become the new Chief Justice.

She has been hailed by judicial and other government bodies as the “most qualified” for the post. They included Malacañang, the Ombudsman and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.

But Senator Richard Gordon called De Castro as “very qualified” to become the country’s top magistrate.

“President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of the one who will become the shortest-serving Chief Justice in the country’s history is absolutely short-sighted,” Hontiveros said.

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