MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) released on Friday, November 16, a short list of candidates for the associate justice vacancy at the Supreme Court left by former chief justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro.
The list is made up of Court of Appeals (CA) justices who have all been bypassed in previous appointments.
Who will get the coveted spot on the bench this time?
1. CA Justice Manuel Barrios (6 votes)
2. CA Justice Apolinario Bruselas (6 votes)
3. CA Justice Edgardo Delos Santos (6 votes)
4. CA Justice Japar Dimaampao (6 votes)
5. CA Justice Ramon Garcia (6 votes)
6. CA Justice Amy Lazaro-Javier (6 votes)
7. CA Justice Rosmari Carandang (5 votes)
Among the 7 candidates, only Delos Santos is considered a newcomer. He first applied in September this year and made the short list for the replacement of Ombudsman Samuel Martires in October.
For this vacancy, another frequent applicant, Court Administrator Midas Marquez, did not submit an application. Marquez applied for the next vacancy to replace Associate Justice Noel Tijam, who is set to retire when he turns 70 on January 5, 2019.
There were 20 applicants for Tijam's replacement, including anti-graft court Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang. Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz, who will soon hand out his division’s verdict on the Bong Revilla plunder, also applied.
The applicants for the Tijam vacancy will undergo JBC public interviews on December 5. (READ: By 2022, Supreme Court filled with Duterte appointees)
The appointment of a new chief justice will also create another vacant Associate Justice post. Excluding the chief justice appointment of De Castro, the next appointment will be President Rodrigo Duterte's 7th to the High Court.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the JBC might be ready to release its chief justice short list next Friday, November 23. – Rappler.com