MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) will be busy in the coming months screening applications for multiple vacancies in the Supreme Court, most important of which is for the replacement of Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro, who will be retiring on October 8.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, a JBC member, said that the applications for chief justice will open September 29 and will end October 15.
By tradition, the most 5 senior justices of the Court will be automatically nominated. (READ: The test of legacy for Chief Justice De Castro)
They are: Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.
Peralta and Bersamin have vied before for the appointment that was given to De Castro. Carpio declined, but he will have a chance to reconsider for this round. Carpio passed up the Sereno vacancy out of principle, as he voted against the quo warranto ouster.
Aside from the Chief Justice replacement, the JBC is in the process of drawing up a short list for the replacement of Ombudsman Samuel Martires.
One of the en banc’s recommendations for the Martires vacancy is Court Administrator Midas Marquez, whose application was opposed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio for supposedly colluding with Duterte supporters to secure the appointment.
The JBC has also started accepting applications for the vacancy that was created by De Castro when she became Chief Justice. The application for that vacancy is on October 1.
In the event that the next Chief Justice comes from the incumbent justices, another vacancy will be created.
Several justices are also set to retire in 2019, which means that by 2022, the Supreme Court will be filled with Duterte appointees. – Rappler.com