5 chief justice applicants’ interview set on August 16

MANILA The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is set to interview the five applicants for the position of Chief Justice on August 16.

The post became vacant after Maria Lourdes Sereno was ousted by the Supreme Court en banc, voting 8-6, through quo warranto proceedings.

The five candidates are SC justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin, Andres Reyes Jr., and Judge Virginia Tejano-Ang of Tagum City, Davao del Norte Regional Trial Court Branch 1.

Public interviews for all nominees for the post of Chief Justice on Aug. 16, 9 a.m. onwards at the Division Hearing Room, SC New Building, the SC Public Information Office (PIO) said on its Twitter account.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, an ex-officio member of the JBC, said in a text message sent to Philippine News Agency (PNA), the JBC will hold its final deliberations and selection on August 31 for the shortlist of its candidates.

It will then endorse it to President Rodrigo Duterte for approval.

The three of the applicants de Castro, Peralta, Bersaminwere automatic candidates for the post, being in the five most senior magistrates of the High court.

Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, who did not apply for the post, will be the Acting Chairman of the JBC while Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., declined to be included in the shortlist. He is set to retire on August 7.

Reyes, who accepted the nomination for chief justice after being endorsed by former JBC member and retired Sandiganbayan Justice Raul Victorino, will also be interviewed by JBC members.

Last Tuesday, Bersamin got 10 votes from the SC en banc, followed by de Castro and Peralta with nine votes each, while Reyes garnered two votes.

The results of the voting will be forwarded to the JBC.

De Castro, Bersamin and Peralta were among the six justices who asked by Sereno to inhibit from the deliberation on the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida,

The petition was eventually granted by the Court in a decision issued last May 11. The decision became final on June 19.

The quo warranto petition sought the nullification of Sereno's appointment as Chief Justice for her failure to comply with the requirements to qualify for the position. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency