JBC opens applications for chief justice post

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    THE Judicial and Bar Council has opened nominations for the post of chief justice after the Supreme Court approved the early retirement of Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on March 27 this year.

    Peralta’s successor at the SC will be Duterte’s fourth appointment as chief justice.

    If Duterte goes by seniority, it would be the turn of Associate Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe, who is the second most senior justice after Peralta.

    In terms of seniority, Bernabe is followed by Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

    Bernabe, Leonen, and Caguioa are all appointees of former President Benigno Aquino III.
    Bernabe is set to retire next year.

    The JBC also released a shortlist of nominees for the post of Supreme Court Associate Justice Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla who retired in November last year due to health reasons.

    The list, which the JBC submitted to Malacañang on January 12, includes Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, five Court of Appeals Associate Justices, a Sandiganbayan Justice and one from the academe.

    The five CA justices are Apolinario Bruselas Jr., Ramon Cruz, Japar Dimaampao, Jhosep Lopez and Maria Filomena Singh.

    Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje and former Ateneo de Manila Law School dean Sedfrey Candelaria are also vying for the post.

    The SC approved the application for “disability retirement of Baltazar-Padilla on Nov. 3, 2020.

    The 62-year-old Baltazar-Padilla was appointed to the SC only in July last year, as 188th associate justice after serving as an associate justice in the appellate court since 2006.

    The JBC also announced the opening of nomination for the post of Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elman whose term of office will end on March 13.

    The JBC, the body tasked by the Constitution to screen nominees and applicants to the judiciary, set a March 1 deadline for applicants to Elman’s position.
    In an announcement dated January 13, the JBC said Peralta’s early retirement was “approved last January 5 and effective on March 27, 2021.”

    The JBC said the deadline for submission of applications and other documentary requirements for Peralta’s post is on February 15.

    “They must submit the complete and accurate digitized versions of the letter of intent and the documentary requirements through electronic mail to orsn.jbc@judiciary.gov.ph. The date of actual receipt of the complete documentary requirements shall be deemed as the date of filing,” the JBC said.

    The JBC will conduct a public interview of the applicants and a shortlist would be submitted to Malacañang for consideration.