By Vann Marlo M. Villegas
THE Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) included 10 names in the shortlist to replace Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Noel G. Tijam who will retire on Jan. 5, 2019, Justice Secretary and JBC ex-officio member Menardo I. Guevarra said.
Garnering six votes each are Court of Appeals (CA) justices Manuel M. Barrios, Japar B. Dimaampao, and Amy C. Lazaro-Javier.
Sandiganbayan Presiding Judge Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, CA justices Ramon A. Cruz, Ramon D.R. Garcia, and Mario V. Lopez were also shortlisted with five votes each.
With four points each, CA justice Apolinario D. Bruselas, former Ateneo Law dean Cesar L. Villanueva, and Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez made it in the shortlist.
Nine other SC aspirants who failed to make it in the shortlist are CA justices Eduardo B. Peralta, Jr., Ricardo R. Rosario, Ramon M. Bato, Jr., Stephen C. Cruz, and Edgardo L. Delos Santos, Sandiganbayan justices Efren N. de la Cruz, Alex D.L. Quiroz, Tagum City Judge Virginia D. Tehano-Ang, and lawyer Rita Linda V. Jimeno.
The SC justices on Dec. 4 recommended Messrs. Barrios, Bato, Garcia, and Marquez to the JBC. Only Mr. Bato did not make it in the shortlist.
The JBC conducted public interviews to six of the applicants on Dec. 5 while the interviews of the rest were still considered as valid.
The council also opened the applications and recommendations for the associate justice position left by current Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin.
The deadline for the submission of applications and requirements is on Jan 22, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.
Mr. Bersamin vacated the position when President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed his appointment paper as chief justice on Nov. 26. He took his oath before Mr. Duterte on Dec. 4.