The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has shortlisted 14 names for the four vacant justice posts in the Court of Appeals (CA) out of 52 applicants.
For the first time, a female Muslim judge was shortlisted and topped the voting of the JBC on Monday.
It will be the batch of shortlist of judges for the post vacated by CA Justice Abdulwahid Hakim.
Iligan Regional Trial Court Judge Anisah Bagul Amanodin-Umpa topped the shortlist with 6 votes.
Also on the shortlist left by Abdulwahid are Makati Regional Trial Court Judge Atal-Pano, also with 6 votes, and Gapan City (Nueva Ecija) RTC Judge Celso Baguio with 5 votes.
In the post left by the late CA Justice Michael Elbinias, topping the list is Makati RTC Executive Judge Selma Alaras with 6 votes.
Also on the list is Manila RTC Judge Ruben Reynaldo Roxas with 6 votes and Makati RTC Judge Andres Soriano with 4 votes.
Quezon City RTC Judge Jocelyn Reyes-Solis, who handles the controversial Maguindanao massacre, was also on the shortlist with 4 votes.
In the 3rd batch of nominees, the JBC has shortlisted three names who could possibly succeed retired CA Justice Rebecca de Guia-Salvador and they are Marikina RTC Judge Geraldine Macaraig with 6 votes, Lipa, Batangas RTC Judge Danilo Sandoval also with 6 and Ma. Celestina Cruz-Mangrobang with 4 votes.
In the post left by retired CA Justice Isaias Dicdican, topping the list are Pasig RTC Judge Danilo Cruz and Quezon City RTC Judge Angeline Mary Quimpo-Sale with 5 votes each.
Coming in next are Cagayan de Oro RTC Judge Jeoffre Acebido and lawyerGabriel Robeniol with 4 votes each.
The seven-man JBC, 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, namely Senator Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Retired SC Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez is the head of the Executive Committee and represents the retired SC justice sector.
Lawyer Jose Mejia representing the academe, retired Court of Appeals Justice Aurora Santiago-Lagman representing the private sector and lawyer Milagros Fernan-Cayosa from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines are the other regular members of the council.