Ex-Energy Secretary nominated for SC justice

MANILA, Philippines - Former Energy Secretary Raphael "Popo" Lotilla was nominated for the post of Supreme Court Associate Justice. He previously declined his nomination for the position of chief justice in June. 

Lotilla is one of the 4 contenders for the 15th seat in the SC (this number is expected to change as the deadline of application is on Monday, Sept. 17). Another nominee, according to an insider, is Court of Appeals Justice Noel Tijam who has also previously been nominated to an SC post.

The vacancy arose following the appointment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in August. Sereno served as associate justice from 2010 to August 2012.

Lotilla declined his nomination for chief justice in June, saying the tradition of appointing the most senior member of the Court must be observed. 

A source told Rappler that out of the 8 who applied or have been nominated, only 4 have officially joined the race. Three did not confirm their nomination, while one declined. 

President Benigno Aquino III has 90 days to appoint a new SC justice. This will be his fourth appointment in the Court; he previously named Sereno and Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Bienvenido Reyes to the High Tribunal. - Rappler.com 

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