The Judicial Bar and Council has set its first deliberation for the Chief Justice post on Aug. 3, a week after the deadline for the submission of applications and nominations for the post on July 26.
This was confirmed by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, an ex officio member of the JBC, in a text message sent to Philippine News Agency Monday.
The SC formally opened last June 26 the search for the post of Chief Justice after it affirmed last June 19 its ruling which granted the quo warranto petition against Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Under the rules, while the five most senior justices are automatically nominated for the chief justice post, they still have to formally accept the nomination to be officially considered as nominee or applicant.
These five justices are Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, and Lucas Bersamin.
They all have yet to formally accept or decline their automatic nomination.
The 1987 Constitution requires that the Chief Justice position must be filled up within 90 days from vacancy, which means that President Rodrigo Duterte needs to appoint ousted top magistrate Sereno’s replacement by Sept. 16.
The failure of Sereno to meet this 10-SALN requirement was among the grounds cited by the SC in granting the quo warranto petition against her.
The petition sought to void Sereno’s appointment as Chief Justice in 2012 due to her failure to submit before the JBC her SALNs she was supposed to have filed during her tenure as law professor of the University of the Philippines.
Last June 19, the High Court denied with finality the motion for reconsideration filed by Sereno, who is the first top magistrate to be removed from office through quo warranto proceedings.