11 SC magistrates recommend Justice Martires for Ombudsman
The vast majority of Supreme Court justices recommended to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) Associate Justice Samuel Martires to be the next Ombudsman.
Of the 12 Justices present during Tuesday’s en banc session, Martires received 11 votes.
Not present were Associate Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Antonio Benjamin Caguioa.
Aside from Martires, two other aspirants received a vote from the Supreme Court Justices — retired Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and current Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval with 4 votes and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III with 3 votes.
The justices were allowed to recommend more than one person.
The JBC, which is mandated to screen aspirants to the judiciary and top Ombudsman positions, is set to vote for a shortlist of aspirants that will be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte on July 20.
Martires, a graduate of San Beda College of Law was the first appointee of Duterte to the Supreme Court. Prior to his appointment at the Supreme Court, he was a Justice of the Sandiganbayan.
Sandoval, on the other hand, was a former presiding justice of the Sandiganbayan, a criminal law expert, author, law professor and Bar reviewer.
Meanwhile, Bello is concurrently Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. He also served as Justice secretary under President Fidel Ramos.
Aside from Martires, Sandoval and Bello, other aspirants include Duterte’s kumare and former lawyer Edna Batacan, Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Efren Dela Cruz, Atty. Rex Rico, Atty. Felito Ramirez, Atty. Rey Ifurung and Davao Judges Rowena Apao-Adlawan and Carlos Espero.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ seven-year term will end on July 26. /cbb
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