The Judicial and Bar Council on Friday transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte a shortlist of nine nominees for the Supreme Court’s associate justice post that was left vacant following the promotion of Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo as Chief Justice last April 5.
The 7-member JBC concurrently chaired by Gesmundo shortlisted the following aspirants to the SC post, namely: Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotage Tang, former Ateneo de Manila University law dean Sedfrey Candelaria, Court of Appeals Associate Justices Ramon Cruz and Japar Dimaampao, Sandiganbayan Associate Justices Geraldine Faith Econg and Rafael Lagos, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, CA Associate Justice Maria Filomena Singh, and Deputy Court Administrator Raul Villanueva.
Under the constitution, the President has 90 days from April 5 to name his appointee.
On July 1, there would be another vacancy in the high court with the early retirement of Associate Justice Edgardo Delos Santos for health reasons.
The JBC, the constitutional body that accepts, screens, and nominates appointments to the judiciary, has opened the applications or recommendations to Delos Santos’ post.
Meanwhile seven aspirants have applied for the position of Deputy Ombudsman for Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices.
The JBC said the applicants include Regional Trial Court Judges Divinagracia Bustos-Ongkeko, Rodney Magbanua, and Mario Duaves, as well as Assistant Ombudsman Jose Balmeo Jr. and Ombudsman Director Beda Epres.
Lawyers Camilo Correa and Voltaire San Pedro have also applied to replace retired Deputy Ombudsman Cyril Ramos.
Ongkeko, Magbanua, Correa, and San Pedro will undergo a public interview by the JBC on June 23. The previous interviews of Balmeo, Duaves, and Epres are still valid, the screening body said.
The public may submit to the JBC a sworn complaint, report, or opposition against any of the candidates until June 21.