JBC opens nominations for SC seat
MANILA, Philippines — The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has opened the application and recommendations for the vacancy to be left by Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin when he retires from the Supreme Court (SC) on Oct. 18.
Supreme Court clerk of court Edgardo Aricheta, JBC ex officio secretary, announced on Friday that those interested must submit their application or recommendation by July 30.
Aspirants for chief justice must submit required documents enumerated on the JBC website, the announcement said.
Bersamin was appointed to the court on Apr. 3, 2009 and was elevated Chief Justice on Nov. 26, 2018. He will retire on Oct. 18 upon reaching 70, the mandatory retirement age for justices and judges in the Judiciary.
The JBC has earlier initiated the nomination process for vacancies occurring in the high court with the retirement of Justices Mariano del Castillo on July 29, Francis Jardeleza on Sep. 26, and Antonio Carpio on Oct. 26.
The JBC has earlier interviewed 24 aspirants for Del Castillo’s seat, most of them Court of Appeals justices.
The deadline for the submission of applications or recommendations for the seats to be left by Jardeleza and Carpio is on July 30.
The end of the year will leave the 15-member court with 10 appointees of President Duterte, Bersamin included.
In the likely event that Duterte names another incumbent justice as Bersamin’s successor, an additional vacancy will arise in the tribunal.
Since the court’s establishment in 1901, most of the chief justices have been incumbent members of the tribunal.
The seven-member JBC is the constitutional body tasked to screen and vet nominees to top positions in the judiciary and the Office of the Ombudsman.
The President will pick from a short list of at least three nominees per vacancy prepared by the JBC.
The JBC is mandated to come out with a short list of at least three nominees from which the President will make his pick within 90 days after the vacancy occurred.
The Constitution requires a member the SC to be a natural-born Filipino, at least 40 years old, and must have been a judge or law practitioner in the Philippines for 15 or more years.