Selection of new SC justice begins Sept 5

President Aquino has 90 days to appoint the next associate justice

THE 15TH. The JBC will open the application process for the post of the 15th member of the High Court on September 5.

MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council will open the application process for the post of associate justice on Wednesday, September 5. 

The JBC will publish the formal announcement of the vacancy on its website and in broadsheets also on Wednesday. The vacancy arose from the appointment of Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to the post of chief justice on August 24.

President Benigno Aquino III has 90 days to name the 15th member of the High Court from the date of the vacancy. This would be the President’s fourth appointment to the Court since becoming president in June 2010. His previous apppointments to the High Tribunal are Sereno, and Justices Bienvenido Reyes and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

Meanwhile, Iloilo Rep Niel Tupas Jr said he would ask the JBC to tackle in its next en banc meeting the amendment of its rules on disqualification.

Under Rule 4, Section 5 of the JBC rules, the following are considered disqualifed from “appointment to any judicial post or as Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman:”

  • those with pending criminal or regular administrative cases
  • pending criminal cases in foreign courts or tribunal
  • those who have been convicted in any criminal case; or in an administrative case, where the penalty imposed is at least a fine of more than P10,000, unless he has been granted judicial clemency
Siguro mas maganda na before ‘yung process, mag decide na kami kung may amendment yung rules instead of the middle of the game. To me, I feel na may mga unfair na rules but we should decide on that before the nomination process,” Tupas said. (I think it’s better if we can decide on the amendment of the rules before the process starts, instead of doing it in the middle of the game. I feel that some rules are unfair but we should decide on that before the nomination process.)
Tupas had previously asked the JBC to relax its rules on disqualification. His proposal was seen as a move to stop the disqualification of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who faces disbarment cases, from the race for chief justice.

Tupas argued that the JBC should be given the sole discretion to decide if a case is grave enough to cause the disqualification of a candidate.-


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