JBC holds public screening for next SC justice

By Edu Punay, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 29 2014 03:19 AM | Updated as of May 29 2014 11:19 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Nominees to the vacancy in the Supreme Court (SC) left by the retirement of Associate Justice Roberto Abad last May 22 will face the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) in public interviews today.

According to an advisory from the SC, four of the 13 bets will face the seven-member council in the morning: Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Nina Antonio-Valenzuela, Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Ma. Rowena Guanzon and Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Ma. Cristina Cornejo.

In the afternoon, CA Associate Justices Rosmari Carandang and Jose Reyes Jr. will have their turn to face the constitutional body tasked to vet nominees to posts in the judiciary and the Office of the Ombudsman.

Tomorrow, seven more nominees will face the JBC: COA Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan, CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr. and Associate Justices Apolinario Bruselas Jr., Ramon Paul Hernando, Stephen Cruz and Noel Tijam, and Quezon City regional trial court Judge Reynaldo Daway.

There were initially 15 nominees, but the other two – De La Salle University law dean Jose Manuel Diokno and Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Rafael Lagos – withdrew their bids for the SC post.

The Constitution requires candidates for the position of associate justice of the SC to be a natural born citizen, at least 40 years of age, and with 15 years or more of experience as a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the country. The magistrate must also be “a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence.”