2 more Duterte appointees to fill Supreme Court vacancies

MANILA, Philippines – There are two vacancies for Associate Justice posts at the Supreme Court that need to be filled up by President Rodrigo Duterte. 

They are spots to replace Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza, who retired on September 26, and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, who will retire on October 26.

They will be Duterte's 11th and 12th Supreme Court appointees, not counting his chief justice appointments. There have been 10 Duterte appointees on the Supreme Court bench, including retired justices Samuel Martires and Noel Tijam.

Duterte has started to pack the Supreme Court with young appointees, or those who will serve long after his term is over.

The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) released on Monday, October 1, a shortlist of 13 names for the Jardeleza vacancy.

The JBC had previously interviewed 28 applicants for the Jardeleza and Carpio vacancies.

The Jardeleza shortlist is rather long, made up mainly of Court of Appeals (CA) justices and the other familiar names like Court Administrator Midas Marquez and Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang.

"What is provided in the Constitution is a minimum number of nominees only," said Supreme Court Spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka, referring to Section 9, Article VIII, which says the JBC should prepare a shortlist of at least 3 nominees.

Those short-listed for the Jardeleza vacancy are (in alphabetical order):

The JBC is yet to release a shortlist for the upcoming Carpio vacancy.

Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin is retiring on October 18.

The JBC will conduct a public interview on Tuesday, October 2, for the justices vying to replace him, namely Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Estela Perlas Bernabe, Andres Reyes Jr, and Jose Reyes Jr.

The JBC's regular members are also all Duterte appointees.

The Supreme Court has consistently ruled in favor of Duterte in the major political cases presented before it since the start of his administration in 2016. Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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