Guevarra orders NBI to probe Philhealth scam

Applications for CJ post moved to September 2

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday disclosed that the deadline for applications for the soon-to-be-vacant chief justice post was moved to September 2.

This was to encourage more applications to the highest court seat in the country, said Guevarra, an ex officio member of the powerful Judicial and Bar Council.

Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin is set to mandatorily retire this October 18.

As of this writing, four senior magistrates of the Supreme Court have accepted their automatic nomination to the position.

They are Diosdado Peralta, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Andres Reyes Jr., and Jose Reyes Jr.

On the other hand, the justices who declined their nomination were Antonio Carpio, Marvic Leonen, and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

Under the 1987 Constitution, President Duterte has 90 days from October 18 within which to appoint Bersamin’s replacement.

Starting on October 18, Carpio will automatically become the acting chief justice until his compulsory retirement on October 26.

From October 26 and if assuming Mr. Duterte has not yet appointed Bersamin’s replacement, Peralta, the third magistrate in line based on seniority, will now take the post from Carpio as acting chief justice.

Incidentally, Carpio recently declined his automatic nomination to the coveted court seat, while Peralta accepted.

This developed as the JBC also announced on Thursday that it will be conducting a public interview for the seats to be vacated by Carpio and Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza on September 6, 9, 10 and 11.

Jardeleza will retire on September 26 while Carpio on October 26.

At least 28 candidates are eyeing the seats to be vacated by the two magistrates, according to the JBC.

The JBC said the public may submit a sworn complaint against any of the candidates by personal delivery, mail or email on or before August 27.

It was learned that 18 of the applicants are from the Court of Appeals (CA), namely Justices Samuel Gaerlan, Japar Dimaampao, Edwin Sorongon, Ramon Cruz, Ramon Bato Jr., Eduardo Peralta Jr., Apolinario Bruselas Jr., Ramon Garcia, Ricardo Rosario, Mario Lopez, Jhosep Lopez, Elihu Ybañez, Ma. Filomena Singh, Pablito Perez, Manuel Barrios, Edgardo delos Santos, Edgardo Lloren and Oscar Badelles.

Likewise applying are Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, and Sandiganbayan magistrates Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, Efren de la Cruz, Alex Quiroz and Oscar Herrera Jr. and Davao City Regional Trial Court Judge Carlo Espero II.

Also aspiring for the soon-to-be-vacant positions are Bureau of Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Lanee Cui-David, former Justice undersecretary Manuel Teehankee, former Ateneo Law School dean Cesar Villanueva and University of Asia and the Pacific School of Law and Governance professor Jeremy Benigno Gatdula.

The JBC is the constitutionally-mandated body to screen and vet nominees to key positions in the judiciary and the Office of the Ombudsman.

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