The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has shortlisted a Muslim judge and five others for the position of Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals (CA).
In the transmittal letter of the JBC to President Rodrigo Duterte, dated December 2, 2016, the shortlisted names shall vie for the position vacated by Associate Justice Agnes Reyes Carpio.
Carpio is the mother-in-law of Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte, who is married to Carpio’s son Manases.
She is the wife of lawyer Lucas Carpio, sister of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.
The CA Associate Justice retired on December 1, 2016 upon reaching 70, compulsory retirement age for all justices and judges.
Topping the JBC shortlist is Iligan City Regional Trial Court (RTC)
Judge Anisah Amanodin-Umpa with 5 votes.
She is the lone Muslim applicant for the CA Associate Justice position.
Also notching five votes is Taguig City (Metro Manila) RTC Judge Louis Acosta, brother of CA Justice Francisco Acosta.
The older Acosta was a classmate of Duterte at the San Beda College of Law.
Also with five votes are Las Pinas City (Metro Manila) RTC Judge Joselito Vibandor, Quezon City RTC Judge Mary Angelene Quimpo Sale and Cagayan de Oro City RTC Judge Jeoffre Acebido.
Notching 4 votes is Pasig City (Metro Manila) RTC Judge Danilo Cruz.
The JBC letter was signed by the seven members of the JBC led by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
There are 23 divisions in the appellate court composed of one Presiding Justice and 68 Associate Justices.
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 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.
Lawyer Jose Mejia represents the academe, Milagros Fernan-Cayosa represents the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and retired Judge Toribio Ilao represents the private sector as the other regular members of the JBC.