The Judicial and Bar Council is this week expected to come up with a shortlist for the post of chief justice, which was left vacant by the retirement of Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro on Oct. 10.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, the JBC’s ex-officio member, said the council will meet on Nov. 23 to deliberate on the list.
“We will deliberate on the CJ post this Friday and have the voting for the shortlist,” Guevarra said.
The JBC is the seven-member body tasked to screen the nominees for judicial posts. It has received five nominations for the post of chief justice.
Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin and Estela Perlas-Bernabe accepted their automatic nominations for the post of chief justice as senior justices of the Supreme Court.
The fifth nominee, Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr., also accepted his nomination for the post.
Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo, the only senior high court magistrate who declined his automatic nomination, will sit as acting chairman of the JBC for the deliberations on the post of chief justice as provided under the rules.
The JBC earlier extended the Oct. 15 deadline for the nominations for the post of chief justice to Oct. 26.
A vacancy in the high court should be filled within 90 days, and this means President Rodrigo Duterte has until Jan. 8 to name De Castro’s successor.
The Constitution requires the chief justice to be a natural-born citizen and to be at least 40 years old. He or she should have an experience as a judge or in private law practice for at least 15 years, and must be one with proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.