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Jockeying Heats Up For Supreme Court Slots

January 18, 2009


The jockeying for soon-to-be-available vacancies in the Supreme Court is heating up, along with that of possible successor to Chief Justice Reynato Puno who could exit the high court ahead of his scheduled retirement in May 2010.

At least 3 highly-placed sources have told me those actively pining to be promoted by Pres. Arroyo are Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, the virtual nemesis of Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera, and Associate Justice Renato Corona.

In the case of SG Devanadera, the information reaching this writer is that Madam “Devanadera is peeved that Gutierrez has not yet dismissed the case filed against her by former Ilocos Sur governor Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson,” currently the influential deputy national security adviser.

That unresolved case knocked Devanadera out of the Judicial and Bar Council’s short list of top recommendees to Mrs. Arroyo when Justice Ruben Reyes bowed out earlier this month

The SG is keeping her hopes up, mu sources tell me, for the next of 7 more upcoming vacancees. Gutierrez, for her part, is also eying a promotion to the Supreme Court if and when retiring Justice Dante Tinga is appointed in her place.

In the matter of Justice Corona’s aspirations, these were “rekindled by the widely reported plot of certain quarters to start up an impeachment case versus CJ Puno over the unpromulgated ruling on the disqualification of Negros Oriental Congresswoman Jocelyn Limcaichong.

My highly placed sources intimated that the impeachment complaint against CJ Puno could be filed as earlyas tomorrow when the House of Representatives resumes sessions.

Ex-Congressman Jacinto Paras told DZMM radio on Saturday that he knew nothing of the impeachment plot but “I don’t think it would be misplaced because of the untenable assertions of SC spokesman Midas Marquez  about the “in the result signature of 9 Justices.”

Paras slammed Marquez, saying that “CJ Puno should explain why he has sat on the Limcaichong decision’s promulgation and how the issue gives people reason to fear that corruptive influences may affect decision-making in the high Court.”

The former Negros solon went on further to accuse Atty. Marquez is “putting a spin on the issue and is helping fuel the rumors for CJ Puno to consider running for President in 2010 or entertain other avenues for GMA to be ousted from office before 2010.”

CJ Puno himself has not been available for comment about the newly launched campaign of concerned citizens to gather 2 million signatures to urge him to enter politics.

“The CJ is determined to stay on the Bench,” my highly-placed informants insisted,

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