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MANILA - President Benigno Aquino III prefers Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares to remain in their respective positions instead of vying for the Chief Justice post vacated by the removal of Renato Corona, a Palace spokesman said on Wednesday.
"Let me make it clear that President Aquino has no preference at this point. He would rather that they remain in their present positions," Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
He said the President will talk to the two female Cabinet officials, both of whom were nominated to the Judicial and Bar Council.
Aside from de Lima and Jacinto-Henares, other nominees to the post of Supreme Court chief justice are Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, lawyer Marianito Sasondoncillo, women's rights lawyer Katrina Legarda and former Ateneo de Manila College of Law Dean Cesar Villanueva.
Automatic nominees for the chief justice post are the High Tribunal’s five most senior members, namely Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de
Castro, Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta, and acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio.