• JBC shortlists Sandigan, CA justice nominees

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    The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on Friday shortlisted names of possible magistrates for vacancies in the Court of Appeals (CA) and the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.

    The shortlisting came after Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Roland Jurado retired on February 1.

    CA Associate Justice Francisco Acosta is set for mandatory retirement on April 2.

    Five nominees to Sandiganbayan vacancies were shortlisted.

    Retirement ceremonies for Acosta, a classmate of President Rodrigo Duterte, were held at the CA en banc session hall on Friday.

    Vvying for his post are Zamboanga Regional Trial Court Judge Gregorio dela Pena 3rd, lawyer Walter Ong, Las Pinas RTC Judge Joselito de Jesus Vibandor and Manila RTC Judge Merianthe Pacita Zuraek, who each got five votes.

    Cagayan de Oro RTC Judge Jeoffre Acebido, Iligan RTC Judge Anisah Amanodin-Umpa and Quezon City RTC Judge Tita Marilyn Payoyo-Villordon each got four votes.

    For the Sandiganbayan posts, shortlisted were Muntinlupa RTC Judge Philip Aguinaldo, Makati RTC Judge Maryann Corpus-Manalac, Pasig RTC Judge Danilo Cruz, Ombudsman Director Bayani Jacinto and Quezon City RTC Judge Rosanna Fe Romero-Maglaya, who each got four votes.

    Under Article VIII, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution, vacancies in the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan shall be filled within 90 days from official submission by the JBC to the Office of the President of the list of nominees for the vacancies concerned.

    The names are then transmitted to the President for his approval.

    The seven-man council, which is constitutionally mandated to screen and vet nominees to the President for vacant posts in the judiciary and the Offices of the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman, is headed by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, with ex-officio members Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, Sen. Richard Gordon and Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali.

    Retired Supreme Court Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez is the head of the executive committee, with lawyer Jose Mejia representing the academe, Milagros Fernan-Cayosa representing the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and retired Judge Toribio Ilao representing the private sector as the other regular members of the JBC.

    JOMAR CANLAS

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