Ahead of JBC interviews, SC lists recommendation for next justice
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Supreme Court en banc on Tuesday, December 4, made known to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) its official choices for the next justice.
Court Administrator and new spokesperson, Midas Marquez, announced on Tuesday the en banc’s short list, which includes himself.
Court of Appeals (CA) Justices Ramon Bato Jr and Ramon Garcia, along with Marquez, each had 6 votes, while CA Justice Manuel Barrios got 7.
This is for the vacancy that will open up when Associate Justice Noel Tijam retires in January 2019. There are 15* other applicants for the post.
Six of the original 20 applicants will be interviewed by the JBC on Wednesday, December 5. CA Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang was recently appointed to the Supreme Court.
Bato and fellow CA justices Ramon Cruz, Eduardo Peralta and Ricardo Rosario will be interviewed on Wednesday. Anti-graft court Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Sandiganbayan Justice Efren dela Cruz will also be interviewed on Wednesday.
The en banc makes the recommendation in its session on Tuesday, although 6 of the applicants will only be interviewed tomorrow, Wednesday. Here's the schedule of tomorrow's public interviews: pic.twitter.com/CXQIvbwSAq— Lian Buan (@lianbuan) December 4, 2018
Tang is handling the Juan Ponce Enrile pork barrel scam plunder case, while Dela Cruz is handling the Bong Revilla plunder case set to be decided on Friday, December 7.
Excluding his choices for chief justice, whoever will replace Tijam will be President Rodrigo Duterte's 8th appointee to the Court.
By 2022, 13 justices out of the 15 on the Bench would be his appointees, leaving only Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Benjamin Caguioa as the only non-Duterte appointees there, barring resignations, impeachment, and quo warranto.
Duterte's last appointees have been Associate Justices Ramon Paul Hernando and Rosmari Carandang, both formerly of the CA.
The JBC is not bound by the recommendations of the en banc but by tradition, the Chief Justice – who is the ex-officio chairman of the JBC – votes for whomever the en banc recommends.
“(Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin) is expected to carry the vote of the Supreme Court to the JBC,” Marquez said.
“What the Court would like to do is give sense to the JBC who they think should be shortlisted and eventually join the Supreme Court,” Marquez said.
Most of the applicants are longtime nominees to a justice position in the Supreme Court, with this round being Marquez’ 5th time since 2017.
Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte opposed Marquez’ application the last time because he allegedly colluded with Duterte supporters to secure from her an appointment to the Court in exchange for getting the charges against the mayor dropped.
The charges were filed by a court sheriff for the infamous punching incident in Davao City in 2011.
Asked if he is optimistic about his chances this time around, Marquez said: “It’s already something to be shortlisted, if you’re in the short list, you apply for the position, you want to be optimistic also.” – Rappler.com
*Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story said there were 16 other applicants for the SC post that will be vacated in January 2019. That was based on the Supreme Court list that still had Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang as among the candidates.