JBC approves live coverage of CJ interviews

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2012 12:38 PM | Updated as of Jun 19 2012 07:19 AM

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - For the first time in history, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has approved the live coverage of public interviews of nominees and applicants for the post of Chief Justice.

Meeting today, the council voted to approve the proposal for live media coverage of the interviews in the spirit of transparency.

The guidelines for the coverage will be set in place by the Executive Committee.

The council also approved the extension for the filing of nominations and applications up to July 2.

Today was supposed to be the deadline, but the council, in a meeting today, approved the granting of extension in order to accommodate more candidates to the post vacated by Chief Justice Renato Corona.

This means the submission of the shortlist for the consideration of President Aquino will also be moved to July 30, from the original target of July 15.

Despite the change, the constitutional provision that a new Chief Justice should be appointed within 90 days from vacancy will have to be strictly complied. 

Malacañang welcomed the extension of the deadline for nominations.

“That means there would be more nominations. I think the more names that are put into the pool of nominees, that is certainly better for the country because we will have a wider choice of nominees to the position of chief justice,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said. 

Bernabe, 2 others nominated

Meantime, another magistrate of the Supreme Court has been nominated for the post of Chief Justice.

Associate Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe, the 3rd appointee of Pres. Aquino, was nominated by Gregorio Batiller.

Bernabe completed her Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Banking and Finance degree magna cum laude at St. Paul College of Manila. She earned her law degree from the Ateneo College of Law graduating as Class Salutatorian in 1976.

Perlas-Bernabe served as Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge of Makati City from January 2000 to March 2004, Metropolitan Trial Court Judge of the same city from March 1996 to January 2000, and as Technical Assistant in the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), Supreme Court, from 1977 to 1979.

She also worked in various private and government offices, namely, as Legal Assistant, Legal Department of China Banking Corporation (1979-1980); Senior Manager, Legal Department of Paramount Finance Corp. (1980-1987); Legal Manager and Corporate Secretary/ Legal Consultant of the National Home Mortgage and Finance Corp. (1990-1993); and Senior Partner of Bernabe Perlas Morte and Associates (1993-1996).

She was appointed Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals (CA) on March 9, 2004, and to the Supreme Court on Sept. 16, 2011.

She is married to Atty. Ricardo C. Bernabe, Jr., a lawyer/ businessman from Malolos, Bulacan, with whom she has two 2 children, Ericia and Ricardo III.

Aside from Bernabe, 2 more nominees were the latest addition to the growing list of nominees submitted to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), namely Soledad Cagampang De Castro  and Asst. City Prosecutor Jose Terre, Jr. of Ormoc City.