By Camille A. Aguinaldo, Reporter
THE Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has named Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel R. Martires and two other nominees in its shortlist to replace outgoing Ombudsman Conchita C. Carpio-Morales, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Friday.
Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III was disqualified from the shortlist due to his pending cases in the Department of Justice (DoJ).
President Rodrigo R. Duterte is set to appoint the next Ombudsman from the JBC’s list of nominees, which also includes Ombudsman Special Prosecutor Edilberto G. Sandoval and private lawyer Felito S. Ramirez.
Mr. Guevarra, who sits as an ex-officio member, said in a text message that Mr. Martires got six votes from the JBC; Mr. Sandoval, five votes; and Mr. Ramirez, four votes.
Regarding Mr. Bello, Mr. Guevarra said, “He has pending DoJ cases apparently. I only came to know about it this morning.”
Mr. Martires, 69, was Mr. Duterte’s first appointee to the Supreme Court, replacing then outgoing Associate Justice Jose P. Perez in March, 2017. Like Mr. Duterte, Mr. Martires obtained his law degree from San Beda College.
Prior to his post in the high court, Mr. Martires served as an Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan. He penned the 2011 Sandiganbayan decision that dismissed the charges against Mr. Duterte, who was then Davao City mayor, over the demolition of a canal cover in a public park.
Mr. Sandoval started as an Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan and eventually became the Presiding Justice. He was appointed Ombudsman Special Prosecutor early July. He obtained his law degree from Far Eastern University (FEU).
Mr. Ramirez is also an alumnus of the San Beda College and a fraternity brother of Mr. Duterte in Lex Talionis. He placed seventh in the 1972 Bar exams.