The Judicial and Bar Council on Friday announced that there were 11 aspirants for the post of Supreme Court associate justice, which was left vacant last June 30 following the early retirement of Associate Justice Edgardo Delos Santos.
In an advisory, the 7-member JBC said the applicants include Commissioner Antonio T. Kho Jr. of the Commission on Elections, Finance Undersecretary Antonette C. Tionko, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, Deputy Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva, Court of Appeals Associate Justices Apolinario D. Bruselas Jr., Ramon A. Cruz, Japar B. Dimaampao, Ronaldo Roberto B. Martin and Maria Filomena D. Singh, and Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje Tang and Associate Justice Geraldine Faith A. Econg.
The JBC, a constitutional office that accepts, screens, and nominates appointments to the judiciary, has set the public interviews of the aspirants on August 11 and 12.
SC’s Public Information Office chief Brian Keith Hosaka said the dates of the interview may change since the National Capital Region would be under enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 6 to 20.
Currently, there are two existing vacancies in the 15-member bench. The first vacant post for associate justice arose from the promotion of then Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo as Chief Justice last April 5. Then Delos Santos retired last June 30.
Last June 18, the JBC sent to President Duterte its list of nominees to the post left by Gesmundo.
The nominees include 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 Marquez, CA Associate Justice Maria Filomena Singh, and Deputy Court Administrator Raul Villanueva.
As of Friday morning, July 30, the President has not announced his appointee from among the nine nominees.
The President, under the Constitution, has 90 days from the date of vacancy to fill up the vacant SC post.