THE Philippine Judges Association has nominated Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez to the post to be vacated by Supreme Court Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes in July.
The group, through its president Georgina Hidalgo, urged the Judicial and Bar Council to approve the promotion of Marquez as a member of the 15-member bench, citing his “integrity, competence, work ethic and dedication to the judiciary.”
“He brought about significant innovations and reforms in the dispensation of justice in the first and second level courts,” says the PJA resolution signed by the members of the PJA executive committee.
The group also praised Marquez for his “noteworthy contributions to the judiciary,” including the introduction of electronic voting in their 2015 elections that paved the way for more honest and credible results.
Marquez has been with the judiciary for about 26 years. From a legal clerk for several justices, he rose from the ranks before being appointed court administrator in 2010.
Court administrators are historically appointed to the Supreme Court. The predecessors of Marquez―Josue Belosillo, Presbitero Velasco Jr. and Jose Perez―had all been promoted to the high court.
Marquez became prominent during the terms of retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno and the late Chief Justice Renato Corona when he served as the high court’s spokesman.
Marquez started his career in the high court in 1991 as a law clerk for several justices, among them Justice Abraham Sarmiento, Senior Justice and former Philippine Judicial Academy chancellor Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera, and retired Senior Associate Justice Bellosillo.
He then became deputy secretary of the Senate Electoral Tribunal detailed to the office of the chairman under Justices Bellosillo in 1999 and Puno in 2003.
He was also named director of the Supreme Court-United Nations Development Program Project on Technical Assistance to the Philippine Judiciary from 1998 to 2000.
Marquez finished both his degree in economics and his Juris Doctor degree at the Ateneo de Manila University.
Apart from Marquez, the Judicial and Bar Council has received 11 other nominations and applications for the coming vacancy in the high court that would enable President Duterte to name his third appointee to it.
Court of Appeals Associate Justices Ramon Paul Hernando and Ramon Bato were also nominated to the post and will also face the JBC in public interviews.
Hernando was a former Justice department prosecutor and regional trial court judge of San Pablo, Laguna, and Quezon City, while Bato was a former RTC judge and known for dismissing the criminal charges against Senator Panfilo Lacson in the controversial Dacer-Corbito murder cases.
The nine others had already been nominated in the two previous vacancies from the retirement of Associate Justices Jose Perez and Arturo Brion in December last year: CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr., Associate Justices Rosmari Carandang, Jose Reyes, Japar Dimaampao, Apolinario Bruselas, Stephen Cruz and Amy Lazaro Javier, Centro Escolar University law school vice dean Rita Linda Ventura- Jimeno, and Pasig RTC Judge Rowena Apao-Adlawan.
The JBC is set to publish the names of the aspirants to the high court vacancy and to schedule the public interviews for the three new nominees.
The JBC, the seven-man council constitutionally tasked to screen the nominees for the vacant posts in the judiciary and in the Office of the Ombudsman, is led by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.