MANILA, Philippines - The race for three vacancies in the Court of Appeals (CA) is turning out to be a close one, according to a Judicial and Bar Council's (JBC) short list obtained by ABS-CBN News.
The JBC, which vets candidates for key posts in the judiciary for the President, came up today with its short list for the vacancies for 3 associate justices of the appelate court:
1] Judge Selma Alaras - 6
2] Amparo Cabotaje-Tang - 7
3] Rcohelle Dakanay- Galano - 5
4] Severino de Castro - 7
5] Judge Renato Francisco - 7
6] Judge Henri Jean Inting - 6
7] Jhosep Lopez - 7
8] Jonel Mercado - 5
9] Erlinda Nicolas-Alvaro - 5
10] Ma. Luisa Padilla - 8
11] Edgar Santos - 7
12] Maria Filomena Singh - 6
13] Joselito Vibandor - 6
Supreme Court spokesman and Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, who was also present in the meeting, declined to name the 13, but confirmed that the JBC came up with a short list of 13 people for the 3 vacancies in the CA.
All JBC members attended the meeting, except for House Justice Committee chairman Niel Tupas, Jr.
The JBC is currently composed of eight members, including retired SC Justice Regino Hermosisima, Jr., Atty. Milagros Fernan-Cayosa from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines(IBP), Atty. Jose Mejia from the Academe, and representing the private sector, retired CA Justice Aurora Lagman.
Chief Justice Renato Corona, who is facing an impeachment trial for culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, and graft and corruption, chairs the JBC.
JBC member Sen. Francis Escudero, chairman of the Senate Justice Committee and senator-judge at the impeachment court, described the meeting as "formal."
"It was formal, we did not discuss the impeachment at all and as senator-judge, I chose not to stay for lunch," Escudero told ABS-CBN News.
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, who also sits in the JBC, said she attended the meeting to fulfill an obligation.
"It's my obligation... nagbeso-beso pa nga kami ni Chief Justice," she said.
Like Escudero, De Lima did not stay for lunch and instead left immediately after the closed-door meeting. -- reports from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News