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Chief Justice on Trial

JBC arrives at 13 names for Court of Appeals vacancies

January 30, 2012 9:06pm

The Judicial Bar and Council on Monday arrived at a short list of 13 candidates for three vacancies in the Court of Appeals, with Quezon City Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Ma. Luisa Padilla and Assistant Solicitor General Amparo Cabotaje Tang leading the pack.
 
The available posts were left by CA Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, who was promoted to the Supreme Court, and last year’s retirement of Justices Mario Guarina III and Rodrigo Lim Jr.
 
Tang got seven votes out of eight members of the JBC, chaired by Chief Justice Renato Corona, while Padilla received a unanimous vote from the council during Monday’s deliberations.

Despite Corona’s impeachment, this year’s first meeting of the JBC was smooth with two council members as part of the prosecution panel in the impeachment trial — Iloilo Rep. and House justice committee chair Niel Tupas Jr. and Justice Sec. Leila de Lima.
 
“Everything was normal... They had the agenda so they just went through the agenda. It was business as usual for the JBC,” SC spokesman Midas Marquez told reporters.
 
Five other JBC members present during the closed-door meeting were Senator Francis Escudero, lawyer Milagros Fernan-Cayosa of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, lawyer Jose Mejia from the academe, retired SC Justice Regino Hermosisima, and retired CA Justice Aurora Lagman.
 
Seven votes each

Also getting seven votes each were Manila City Prosecutor Jhoseph Lopez and Judges Severino De Castro (QC RTC) and Renato Francisco (Bulacan RTC), and SC lawyer Edgar Santos.
 
Getting six votes each were Judges Selma Alaras (Makati RTC), Henri Jean Inting (QC RTC), Ma. Filomena Singh (QC RTC) and Joselito Vibandor (Las Piñas) RTC.
 
Private lawyer Rochelle Dakanay-Galano and Judges Jonel Mercado (Pampanga RTC) and Erlina Nicolas-Alvaro (Las Pinas RTC) got five votes each.
 
A short list of three nominees for each vacant seat will be submitted to President Aquino, who has 90 days from the period of vacancy to appoint the new justices.

Morong 43
 
Tang received her Bachelor of Laws from the San Beda College of Law, graduating among the Top 10 of her class, and her Bachelor of Arts major in Political Science from the Manuel L. Quezon University.
 
She is also a Criminal Law 1 lecturer at San Beda College of Law.
 
Among the cases she handled were the amparo and habeas corpus cases filed by militant groups against the military top brass during the 10-year administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
 
Padilla is now handing the P15-million civil suit filed against Arroyo by the so-called “Morong 43,” whose members were arrested by the military for allegedly being members of the communist New People's Army.
 
She issued in 2001 a controversial ruling that supported the attempts of Photokina Marketing Corp. to press for the fulfillment of its contract with the Commission on Elections for the P6.6 billion Voter's Registration and Identification System Project for the 2004 polls. — VS/KG, GMA News
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