Chief Justice applicants interview to start July 24-A A +A
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
MANILA (Updated 12:13 p.m.) -- Public interviews for those aspiring to become the next Chief Justice will begin a day after President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (Sona), a member of the screening body Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) said Tuesday.
Jose Mejia, who represents the academe in the eight-man JBC, said in a text message that they will hold interviews from July 24 to 27. Aquino will deliver his third Sona on July 23 to coincide with the opening of the last regular session of the 15th Congress.
“We will try to finish the interviews by that week. We have a self-imposed deadline of submitting a shortlist to the President by July 30,” Mejia said.
At the end of the period of application on Monday, 25 people including six incumbent justices of the High Court signified their intention to lead the Judiciary following the ouster of Renato Corona by the Senate impeachment court last May 29 for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution for failing to truthfully declare his peso and dollar accounts.
But the initial list of applicants will only be released to the public on Friday because the JBC still has to check if those who have conformed to their nomination passed the minimum requirements set by the Constitution.
Under Article 8 Section 7, a member of the Supreme Court must be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, at least 40 years of age, and must have been for 15 years or more a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the country.
A prospective magistrate should also hold the qualities such as competence, integrity, probity and independence.
The JBC will allow cameras and tape recorders in the room where interviews of the candidates are held, as well as live television and radio coverage of the proceedings.
This developed after the body decided last month to delete the prohibitions against the same contained in Section 5 of Rule JBC-10 or the “Rule to Further Promote Public Awareness and Accessibility to the Proceedings of the Judicial and Bar Council.”
Milagros Fernan-Cayosa, representative of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to the JBC, said they have yet to release the guidelines for the live media coverage.
She said photographers can only take shots before the start of the proceeding, while updates through social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are allowed. The accreditation of media personnel will be taken care of by the Supreme Court.
Aquino is required to name the new top magistrate 90 days following the vacancy or until August 27, which falls on the 53rd birthday of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, one of the reported contenders for the post.
As of 4:30 p.m. Monday, the Supreme Court magistrates who have confirmed their nomination at the JBC aside from Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio were Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Arturo Brion, Roberto Abad and Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Among the magistrates who were automatically recommended, only Diosdado Peralta did not confirm his nomination.
The others who have confirmed, as of 3:27 p.m. Monday, were Presidential Commission on Good Government chair Andres Bautista; human rights lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno; Securities and Exchange Commission chair Teresita Herbosa; Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza; former University of the Philippines law dean Raul Pangalangan; former presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos-Pijao; Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez; Comelec commissioner Rene Sarmiento; former UE Dean Amado Valdez; former Ateneo dean Cesar Villanueva; San Juan Representative Ronaldo Zamora; lawyers Katrina Legarda, Vincent Veloso; Vicente Velasquez, Rafael Morales, Manuel Siayngco, Amelia Tria-Infante and Soledad Cagampang-de Castro.
Twenty-eight nominees, including Peralta, have declined, namely: Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner Kim Henares; Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta; IBP president Roan Libarios; former Energy Secretary Rafael Lotilla; Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa; court administrator Jose Midas Marquez; former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr.; Sandiganabayan Presiding Justice Francisco Villaruz Jr.; lawyer Simeon Marcelo; former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez; constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas; SC justices Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Jose Catral-Mendoza, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Bienvenido Reyes; Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Franklin Drilon; Court of Appeals (CA) Presiding Justice Andres Reyes and CA Justice Magdangal De Leon; Cebu-based CA Associate Justice Gabriel Ingles; Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz; former Senator Rene Saguisag; former representative Teodoro Locsin Jr.; Dean Rodolfo Robles; Prosecutor Marianito Sasondoncillo and Government Chief Negotiator for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Marvic Leonen. (Virgil Lopez/ECV/Sunnex)