THE Judicial and Bar Council is the body assigned by our Constitution to screen applicants for seats as justices of the Supreme Court whenever there is a vacancy and then to present the names to the President of the Philippines. The President then picks the name he chooses to appoint.
It has eight members. The body also screens applicants nominated for vacant positions in the judiciary as well as the Offices of the Ombudsman and the Deputy Ombudsman. The JBC is always headed by the Chief Justice and includes, also as ex-officio members, the Secretary of Justice and the heads of the justice committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The JBC is headed by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, Sen. Richard Gordon and Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali as ex-officio members. Also in the council are retired high court Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, who heads the executive committee, and lawyer Jose Mejia, who represents academe, Milagros Fernan-Cayosa, who represents the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and retired Judge Toribio Ilao, who represents the private sector.
The JBC has made its shortlist of its nominees for the two current vacancies in the Supreme Court. Seven JBC members chose Court of Appeals Justice Jose Reyes.
Three others seeking SC membership—appellate court Justices Japar Dimaampao and Apolinario Bruselas and Sandiganbayan Justice Samuel Martires – got five JBC votes each.
Thank God CA Justice Rosemari Carandang is not one of the names to be presented to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Rappler’s “Fast Facts on CA Justice Being Considered” for Supreme Court Justice says the following:
“ROSMARI D. CARANDANG
“Court of Appeals Associate Justice
“Law degree from the University of the Philippines
“Placed 9th in the 1975 bar examinations
“Was nominated for a vacancy in the Supreme Court
thrice – in 2011, 2012, and 2014 – but lost on all occasions
“Became a subject of a complaint in 2008 and was alleged to have asked for money before she ruled in favor of the complainant in a case.”
Rappler did not mention that Madam Justice Carandang has it on her record that she had received an admonition from the high court.
A GMA News item, which can be googled at “http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/124019/news/nation/another-ca-justice-facing-administrative-charges-before-sc” says:
“ Another CA justice facing administrative charges before SC
“Published September 30, 2008 7:11p.m.
“MANILA, Philippines — Another appellate court magistrate was slapped with administrative charges for allegedly asking bribe money from a litigant, a radio report said.
“Radio dzRH quoted Court Administrator Jose Perez as saying that Justice Rosemari Carandang was the subject of a complaint by Marlyn Repano for asking P1.5 million to rule in her favor in a case she was involved in.”
On October 29, 2008, we had this story on the front page with the headline “Times reporter allegedly under threat.”
“A veteran reporter of The Manila Times on Monday filed a complaint before the Manila Police District against an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals (CA) for allegedly threatening his life.
“Times reporter Jomar Canlas alleged that Court of Appeals Associate Justice Rosemari Carandang threatened his life, as revealed to him by a ranking official of the Court of Appeals whose name was withheld.
“ ‘The CA official said that she [Carandang] was looking for me and said that [she]was going to shoot me,’ Canlas told police investigators.
“Canlas added that the alleged threat from Carandang may have stemmed from his published article ‘Dirty Dozen of the Court Appeals.’ The article was about the 12 most allegedly corrupt justices in the appellate court. …”
Ideally, only persons of the highest virtue should become justices of the Supreme Court.