Devanadera told to inhibit self

PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — SENATOR Chiz Escudero said yesterday that newly-appointed Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera should inhibit herself from the deliberations of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) if she continues to aspire to be a justice of the Supreme Court.

“Delicadeza dictates that she excuse herself from deliberations that involve her case, as well as the voting for the shortlist,“ Escudero, who is the Senate representative in the JBC, said. As DoJ chief, Devanadera is automatically given a seat in the JBC.

Escudero was referring to deliberations of the JBC, which had deferred the voting for its shortlist of nominees because of an appeal by Devanadera.

Despite pronouncements that she would inhibit herself from discussions on the nominations to the Supreme Court, Escudero said that Devanadera instead has used her presence in the JBC to explain the cases that have been lodged against her at the Office of the Ombudsman.

“This is an advantage not enjoyed by her fellow nominees, one of whom also has cases pending against him,” said Escudero who practiced and taught law before he went into politics.

The JBC has asked the Ombudsman to resolve within two weeks the pending cases filed against Devanadera who is vying for one of the two vacant posts vacated by retired Associate Justices Dante Tinga and Maria Alicia Austria-Martinez.

The opposition senator emphasized that Devanadera could continue to exercise her responsibilities as the Executive Department’s representative in the JBC — including voting for nominees in the shortlist.

“But to do this, she must remove herself from consideration for a seat at the High Court, and must likewise refuse nomination to the High Court as long as she sits on the JBC,” Escudero said.