De Lima is qualified to be Chief Justice, says election lawyer

June 12, 2012 9:48 pm 

MANILA, June 12 – Noted election lawyer Atty. Romulo Macalintal said on Tuesday that despite a pending disbarment case against her, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila M. De Lima is qualified to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (SC).

In a statement, Macalintal said that under existing Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, the phrase "pending administrative cases" is understood to mean that there is already a formal case against a person.

"The same rule is observed by the Career Executive Service Board in its Circular No. 1, Series of 2005, where it is provided that 'an administrative case is deemed pending when a formal charge has already been filed or instituted by the disciplining authority'," Macalintal said.

"The disbarment case against De Lima has not reached the stage where she is formally charged or that the evidence of her guilt is strong to justify her exclusion from the list of nominees to the said position," he added.

De Lima has been nominated by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Zambales Chapter to replace impeached Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

Corona was impeached as the SC's 23rd Chief Justice for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust on May 29, 2012. (PNA)

scs/PTR

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