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CA justices top JBC's voting for 2 SC vacancies


(Updated 5:05 p.m.) The Judicial and Bar Council is recommending five Court of Appeals justices and a lawyer as the next occupants of the two Supreme Court seats vacated this month. Part of the shortlist that will be sent to President Benigno Aquino III are the following:
  • Court of Appeals Associate Justice Jose Reyes, who received seven votes from the eight-member JBC;
  • lawyer Rodolfo Robles, real estate businessman and 1967 Bar topnotcher, seven votes;
  • CA Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes, six votes;
  • CA Associate Justice Magdangal de Leon, six votes;
  • CA Associate Justice Estela Bernabe, five votes;
  • CA Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao, five votes. SC spokesman and administrator Jose Midas Marquez, who is also concurrent JBC consultant, sent the information in a text message on Tuesday. The JBC is the constitutional body mandated to screen, vet, and recommend to the President nominees to vacant judicial posts and nominees to the positions of Ombudmsan and deputy Ombudsman. Aquino can only pick his appointees from the shortlist submitted by the JBC. The six nominees were picked from the 33 aspirants to the two seats in the Supreme Court recently vacated by then Associate Justices Eduardo Nachura (June 13) and Conchita Carpio-Morales (June 19). Aquino has 90 days to select his appointees. His first appointee to the high court was Maria Lourdes Sereno, who became a member of the high tribunal last August. SC aspirants The 27 other aspirants who vied for the two vacancies are: Court of Appeals Associate Justices Ramon Bato Jr., Apolinario Bruselas Jr., Rosmari Carandang, Stephen Cruz, Isaias Dicdican, Hakim Abdulwahid, Mariflor Punzalan-Castillo, Portia Hormachuelos, and Vicente Veloso, Remedios Salazar-Fernando, Andres Reyes, and Noel Tijam, Court of Tax Appeals Associate Justice Juanito Castañeda Jr. and Lovell Bautista, Sandiganbayan Associate Justices Alex Quiroz and Francisco Villaruz, former University of the Philippines law dean Raul Pangalangan, and University of the East law school dean Amado Valdez, Laguna Regional Trial Court Judge Marino Rubia, Commission on Elections commissioner Rene Sarmiento, SC deputy court administrator Nimfa Vilches, and lawyers Pablito Sanidad, Katrina Legarda, Tomas Cabili, Francis Jardeleza, Eduardo Lizares and Sabino Padilla IV. The JBC is composed of the SC chief justice as ex-officio chair, with the Justice secretary and House and Senate justice committee chairs as ex-officio members. The four other regular members include a retired SC justice and representatives from the academe, the private sector and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. — RSJ, GMA News
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