HIGHLIGHTS: JBC interviews SC associate justice aspirants

Here are the highlights from the two-day public interviews for the post of Supreme Court associate justice

NEXT SC JUSTICE. The JBC holds interviews to screen applicants for the post of Supreme Court associate justice. Photo by Mark Z. Saludes/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Ten candidates for the post of Supreme Court (SC) associate justice faced questioning and scrutiny by members of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) during the two-day public interviews on Wednesday, November 16, and Thursday, November 17.

They will vie for the posts to be vacated by Associate Justice Jose Perez and Associate Justice Arturo Brion, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 on December 14 and 29, respectively. (READ: JBC set to screen 14 aspirants for SC post)

The candidates for the SC posts were tested on their knowledge of law and jurisprudence, their opinions on recent controversial SC rulings – such as the Marcos burial case – and their thoughts on extrajudicial killings and drug cases in the country.

Read the highlights of each candidate’s interview on Day 1.

Chief public attorney Persida Rueda-Acosta

Centro Escolar University law school vice dean Rita Linda Ventura Jimeno

Davao Regional Trial Court Judge Rowena Apao Adlawan

CA Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao

Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Samuel Martires

Chief state counsel Ricardo Paras

CA Associate Justice Noel Tijam


Watch Day 1 of the interviews below.


Read the highlights of each candidate’s interview on Day 2.

CA Associate Justice Romulo Borja


CA Associate Justice Amy Lazaro-Javier

Lawyer Joseph San Pedro

Watch Day 2 of the interviews below.


Seven other aspirants are also gunning for the posts. The candidates whose interviews for the two posts remain valid are CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr, CA Associate Justices Jose Reyes Jr, Apolinario Bruselas Jr, Rosmari Carandang, and Stephen Cruz; Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Alex Quiroz; and Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Reynaldo Daway.

The JBC is the constitutional body mandated to screen and vet applicants to the judiciary. (EXPLAINER: How the Judicial and Bar Council works) Its executive committee chairperson is Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez. (READ: Who is Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez of the JBC?)

Applicants undergo psychological testing and public interviews before the JBC makes a shortlist to be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Under his term, Duterte will get to appoint 10 SC magistrates to replace retiring justices in the next 3 years.

Over the past two years, the High Court has decided on major cases involving notable politicians – such as Grace Poe’s citizenship, the bail plea of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, former president Gloria Arroyo’s plunder case, and more recently, the planned burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery. (READ: How did SC justices vote on major political cases?) – Rappler.com