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The Next Chief Justice

JBC shortlists 6 nominees for vacant Sandiganbayan post

March 1, 2012 6:51pm

The Judicial and Bar Council has shortlisted six candidates who will be vying for the post vacated by Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Francisco Villaruz Jr last year.
Leading the candidates were Asst. Solicitor General Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Bernelito Fernandez, who both got seven of eight votes from the eight-member JBC during deliberations last Monday.
Meanwhile, Judges Emmanuel Laurea of Malabon RTC, Ma. Belen Liban of Malolos, Bulacan RTC, Ruben Roxas of Manila RTC and Esteban Tecla of
Mandaluyong RTC secured five votes each.
The shortlist was transmitted by the JBC to Malacañang on Thursday. President Benigno Aquino III will choose from the six the one who would fill in Villaruz's vacated post.
The JBC is the constitutional body mandated to screen, vet, and recommend to the President nominees to vacant judicial posts and nominees.
JBC members, headed by impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona, earlier conducted public interviews of applicants and nominees for the post.
Villaruz was promoted by the President as presiding justice of the anti-graft court on October 5 last year.
Villaruz was a member of the Sandiganbayan Special Division that convicted former President Joseph Estrada of plunder in 2007.
Villaruz is 68 years old and will retire on June 8, 2013. He replaced Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Edilberto Sandoval, who hanged his robes last June 20 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. - Mark D. Merueñas/KBK, GMA News
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