THREE magistrates have applied for the chief justice post that will become vacant this month, according to the Justice chief.

They are Supreme Court Justices Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, Alexander G. Gesmundo and Ramon Paul L. Hernando, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra told reporters in a Viber group message on Monday.

Two justices automatically nominated for the position — Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa — did not submit their requirements, said Mr. Guevarra, who is an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

The Justice chief said the two were either not interested or just did not complete the papers on time.

The high court earlier approved the early retirement of Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta effective Mar. 27.

Under the JBC rules, at least three nominees must be included in the short list for the nomination to close and the interviews to proceed.

The interviews would start on Mar. 10. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago