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MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III said he was dissatisfied with the shortlist for the next Chief Justice submitted to him by the Judicial and Bar Council.
Aquino said the JBC was not fair in disqualifying some candidates who are not really facing cases yet before any court, in an apparent reference to the disqualification of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima over pending disbarment cases against here before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
"Personally I am not (satisfied). I don't think what happened was fair. Some people who are not yet really facing cases have been disqualified," the President said on Friday.
But the President said he will choose from the eight-nominee shortlist given to him by the JBC.
"The Constitution does not give me any other option," Aquino said, ending speculations on whether he will return the list to the JBC or not.
Aquino has until August 27 to choose a new Chief Justice to replace Renato Corona who was ousted in May.
Acting Supreme Court chief justice Antonio Carpio led the shortlist, which included associate justices Roberto Abad, Arturo Brion, Teresita Leonardo De Castro, and Maria Lourdes Sereno; Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, ex-Ateneo Law School Dean Cesar Villanueva, and former congressman Ronaldo Zamora.