7 CA justices make it to SC short list
Seven senior magistrates of the Court of Appeals made it on the Judicial and Bar Council’s (JBC) short list of nominees for Supreme Court associate justice.
According to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, an ex- officio member of the JBC, six of the nominees garnered votes of all six council members present during Friday’s deliberation.
They were Manuel Barrios, Apolinario Bruselas Jr., Edgardo delos Santos, Japar Dimaampao, Ramon Garcia and Amy Lazaro-Javier.
Justice Rosmari Carandang, who garnered five votes, also made it to the short list.
The short list will be transmitted to Malacañang, with President Duterte expected to take his pick in the next few days.
Based on the last reorganization in the Court of Appeals on Oct. 25, Carandang, Dimaampao, Bruselas, Garcia and Delos Santos chair the third, fifth, 10th, 11th and 18th divisions, respectively.
Dimaampao is said to be the court’s only Muslim justice. De los Santos is also the executive justice of the court’s Cebu City office.
Javier and Barrios are senior members of the third and fifth divisions.
The JBC conducted the nomination process for the position of Supreme Court associate justice left vacant by Teresita Leonardo-De Castro when she was appointed Chief Justice in August.
All seven nominees were also in an earlier JBC short list for the vacancy in the Supreme Court that arose after the appointment of Justice Samuel Martires as Ombudsman in July.
According to the Constitution, justices of the Supreme Court must be natural-born citizens, at least 40 years old and with experience as judge or in private law practice for at least 15 years.
They must also be persons with proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.
The mandatory retirement age of justices is 70. Of the seven nominated, only Carandang and Barrios will turn 70 during Mr. Duterte’s term.
Friday’s voting was chaired by Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio. Aside from Guevarra, the other council members present were Sen. Richard Gordon, retired Supreme Court Justice Jose Mendoza, lawyer Milagros Fernan-Cayosa and retired Judge Toribio Ilao Jr.
The JBC has initiated separate nomination processes for two more vacancies in the Supreme Court: one for Chief Justice left vacant by De Castro, who retired last month; and another seat to be left vacant by Justice Noel Tijam, who will retire in January next year.
The council will vote for the short list for Chief Justice on Friday next week.
The JBC is the constitutional body tasked to screen applicants for judges, justices, Ombudsman and deputy Ombudsmen.
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