MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The target date of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) for the start of public interviews of Chief Justice nominees is on July 24.
Lawyer Jose Mejia, JBC member representing the academe, said the screening body will be interviewing at least 24 aspirants for the Chief Justice post on July 24, 25 and 26.
"The process has always been the same. We speak to 6-8 candidates per day and we allocate for them, between 30-40 minutes per interviewee. Now that we have 24-25 (aspirants), we divide that by 3 and that will be the number of people we will interview per day," he told ANC.
He said the interviews will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The JBC will meet again on July 6 to finalize the schedule, and assign which nominees will appear on which day.
Mejia said the rule has always been to list the nominees alphabetically but said it is also possible that a raffle or lottery be done.
"This is just something that some people have suggested. Without any change, it will be alphabetical," he said.
The council said it may finish all the interviews on July 27.
The JBC intends to keep its original schedule of July 30 for the submission of the shortlist of the most qualified bets to President Aquino.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said there is no problem if the JBC fails to come up with the shortlist of candidates for chief justice before the President delivers his State of the Nation Address on July 23.
“It’s the JBC’s prerogative. They have 90 days. The Constitution prescribes that the President be able to appoint a chief justice within 90 days from vacancies. The JBC will be conducting interviews and it’s up to them as long as they comply with the 90-day period. The manner and the conduct of the screening, interviews will be left to the JBC. We have no say on that matter,” Lacierda said.
And the nominees are...
Those who have accepted their nominations are:
1. SC Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio
2. SC Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro
3. SC Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, Jr.
4. SC Associate Justice Arturo Brion
5. SC Associate Justice Roberto Abad
6. SC Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno
7. Justice Sec. Leila De Lima
8. SolGen Francis Jardeleza
9. Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento
10. PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista
11. SEC Chair Teresita Herbosa
12. DLSU Law Dean Jose Manuel Diokno
13. Former ADMU Law Dean Cesar Villanueva
14. Former UP Law Dean Raul Pangalangan
15. Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez
16. Former Exec. Sec. Ronaldo Zamora
17. UE Law Dean Amado Valdez
18. Atty. Katrina Legarda
19. Rafael Morales
20. Vicente Velasquez
21. Manuel Siayngco
22. Soledad Cagampang-De Castro
23. RTC Judge Amelia Tria-Infante
24. Ferdinand Jose David Emmanuel Edralin Marcos Sr. Pijao
-- with reports from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News; ANC