All 15 aspirants for SC vacancy qualified, says JBCBy Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–All of the 15 aspirants for the vacant post at the Supreme Court are qualified to be voted for the final shortlist of nominees, according to the Judicial and Bar Council.
Lawyer Jose Mejia, regular member of JBC representing the academe, said all the candidates have complied with the requirements and met the qualifications to become a justice of the Supreme Court.
“We will vote on Nov. 7 for the shortlist of at least three names. President Aquino has until Nov. 22 to make the appointment so he will have enough time for that,” Mejia said in a text message.
The appointee will fill the remaining vacancy in the 15-member high tribunal which resulted from the appointment of Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice last August.
The candidates have submitted their statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, and waivers for the disclosure of their bank assets. They have also undergone neuro-psychiatric testing. They were also screened by the JBC during public interviews on Oct. 23 and 25.
Nine of the 15 aspirants for justice are considered “insiders” in the judiciary. They are presiding justice Andres Reyes Jr. and associate justices Ramon Bato Jr., Rosmari Carandang, Magdangal de Leon, Isaias Dicdican, Jose Reyes Jr. and Noel Tijam of the Court of Appeals; Sandiganbayan justice Ma. Cristina Cornejo; and former Davao City judge Adoracion Cruz-Avisado.
The other six are “outsiders,” namely, former University of Perpetual Help System law dean Jose-Santos Bisquera, government peace panel chair and former University of the Philippines law dean Marvic Leonen, former energy secretary Raphael Lotilla, De La Salle University law dean Jose Manuel Diokno, Securities and Exchange Commission chair Teresita Herbosa, and former Ateneo law dean Cesar Villanueva.
Under the Constitution, a justice of the Supreme Court must be a natural-born citizen, at least 40 years old, have 15 years or more experience as a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines. He must also b e “a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence.”
The eight-member JBC, chaired by Sereno, is the body tasked to come out with a shortlist of not more than three nominees to fill up a vacancy in the Court.