The Judicial and Bar Council (JBS) is poised to start screening applicants for the Supreme Court (SC) post to be vacated by Associate Justice Buenvenido Reyes on July 6.
So far, 12 applicants have submitted their applications to the JBC, including the High Court’s Administrator, Jose Midas Marquez, who is applying for the post for the first time.
Before he was appointed Court Administrator, Marquez was the chief of staff of Chief Justice Reynato Puno and Chief of the Public Information Office of the High Court.
Marquez was endorsed by the Philippine Judges Association.
Another new name in the list of applicants is Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando.
Hernando previously served as a prosecutor and trial court judge in the Regional Trial Courts (RTC) of San Pablo, Laguna and Quezon City before becoming a CA magistrate.
Another CA justice applying for the SC post is Associate Justice Ramon Bato, a former RTC judge. It was him who junked the criminal charges filed against Senator Panfilo Lacson in the controversial Dacer-Corbito murder case.
Other CA justices who are applying for the post are Andres Reyes Jr. , Rosmari Carandang, Jose Reyes, Japar Dimaampao, Apolinario Bruselas, Stephen Cruz, and Amy Lazaro Javier.
Meanwhile, Centro Escolar University Vice Dean Rita Linda Ventura Jimeno and Pasig RTC Judge Rowena Apao-Adlawan also renewed their interest in applying for the position.
The JBC is set to deliberate to finalize the list of applicants before it posts notices calling for recommendations or objections to the applications of the candidates.
The seven-person 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 chaired by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. The ex-officio members include Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, Senator Richard Gordon and Rep. Reynaldo Umali of Mindoro Oriental.
Retired SC Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez heads the Executive Committee, Jose Mejia represents the Academe, Milagros Fernan-Cayosa represents the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, while retired judge Toribio Ilao represents the private sector in the JBC.