The Seven: Supreme Court Watch

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2008 10:30 PM | Updated as of Feb 13 2009 11:32 PM

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Former Lucio Tan counsel leads new Supreme Court aspirants 

A legal counsel in a case which has recently threatened the leadership of Chief Justice Reynato Puno is one of the six new aspirants to the Supreme Court.

Roberto Abad, dean of the University of Sto. Tomas Faculty of Civil Law, is one of the six additional contenders in the race for the SC seat to be vacated by Justice Adolfo Azcuna on February 16.

JBC asked to explain choices for Supreme Court

A Supreme Court appointments watchdog has recommended asking the Civil Service Commission to help in conducting background investigation on the nominees to the SC vacancies and requiring the members of the Judicial and Bar Council to explain their votes.


18 vie for new SC vacancy after Azcuna retirement

Solicitor-General Agnes Devanadera and businessman Rodolfo Robles, both disqualified by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) in the recent nomination for the post vacated by retired Justice Ruben Reyes, are making a fresh shot at another Supreme Court (SC) vacancy. The two, who have close ties with Malacañang, are among the 18 applying for the post to be vacated by Justice Adolfo Azcuna, who is set to retire Feb. 16.


Election case wake-up call for Supreme Court

These are excerpts from our interview with Cesar Villanueva, dean of the Ateneo College of Law, who is shortlisted for the Supreme Court, and the Judicial and Bar Council public interview. Our researcher Purple Romero conducted the interview in November 2008 while the JBC held its public interview early December. Romero took down notes during the latter interview.


Embattled justice in deeper trouble; he wrote decision without litigants’ memos

Ruben Reyes, the recently retired Supreme Court justice who is at the center of the controversy over the leak of his unpromulgated decision, appears to be digging himself deeper into a hole. He wrote a draft decision on the case of Jocelyn Limkaichong even before he had full information, an irregular practice.


Villanueva: 'The clergy should not meddle in matters of the state'

These are excerpts from our interview with Cesar Villanueva, dean of the Ateneo College of Law, who is shortlisted for the Supreme Court, and the Judicial and Bar Council public interview. Our researcher Purple Romero conducted the interview in November 2008 while the JBC held its public interview early December. Romero took down notes during the latter interview.


Villarama: 'I do not want Charter change before 2010'

These are excerpts from our interview with Court of Appeals Justice Martin Villarama Jr., the leading contender to the Supreme Court. Our researchers, Purple S. Romero, conducted the interview in October.


Villaruz: 'Charter change should be adopted now'

These are excerpts from the 2007 and 2008 Judicial and Bar Council public interviews with Sandiganbayan Justice Francisco Villaruz who is shortlisted for the Supreme Court. We relied on the notes of the Supreme Court Appointments Watch for the 2007 interview and on the notes of our researcher, Purple Romero, for the 2008 interview.


Hormachuelos: 'I don’t owe anyone anything. I have no backing.'

These are excerpts from interviews with Court of Appeals Justice Portia Hormachuelos, who is shortlisted for the Supreme Court. One was conducted by our researcher, Purple Romero, in October, and the two others, by the Judicial and Bar Council, in November 2008 and in 2007. We relied on the notes of the Supreme Court Appointments Watch for the 2007 interview. Romero took notes during the most recent JBC interview.


Villarama tops JBC voting; four others in shortlist

Court of Appeals (CA) senior Justice Martin Villarama topped today’s open voting of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) for the post to be vacated by Supreme Court (SC) Justice Ruben Reyes Jr.


Eyes on the JBC: It votes for choices to the Supreme Court today

A few weeks back, a party was held at a clubhouse in Manila to mark the birthday of a member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC). Notable personalities in the judiciary were present in the affair, some of whom were old friends. But there were those, like other JBC members, who got uncomfortable when they saw some of the visitors. Among the well-wishers were aspirants to the Supreme Court.


Winds of change in the JBC

Like other collegial bodies, the Judicial and Bar Council has been described as an old boys’ club. Its mantra, it seems, is to maintain the status quo, uphold secrecy and resist reforms. But recent scandals in the Court of Appeals and growing concern that recent appointees to the Supreme Court were based on political connections have put pressure on the JBC to be rigorous.


New frontrunner in SC race emerges

Sandiganbayan Justice Francisco Villaruz may have gotten the top vote among Supreme Court magistrates to replace outgoing Justice Ruben Reyes in January 2009 but his superior in the anti-graft court—Presiding Justice Diosdado Peralta—could just edge him out of the competition.


Public interviews with Supreme Court aspirants

These interviews were conducted by the Judicial and Bar Council on Nov. 19, 20, and 24. The last batch of interviews is scheduled on Dec. 3. The public is not allowed to record the interviews. We relied on notes taken by our researcher, Purple Romero.


JBC interviews with last batch of Supreme Court aspirants

The Judicial and Bar Council on Wednesday (December 3) interviewed the last batch of 14 candidates to the Supreme Court: Ateneo College of Law Dean Cesar Villanueva, Court of Appeals Justice Martin Villarama, and Sandiganbayan Justice Francis Villaruz. The JBC does not allow recording of interviews. Our researcher, Purple Romero, took down notes.


CA Justice Villarama logs highest number of SC reversals

Supreme Court aspirant Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Martin Villarama Jr. has logged the highest number of reversals by the Supreme Court in the past two years, while another aspirant, Justice Mariano del Castillo, maintained an unblemished record.


JBC bars Devanadera, 2 others from SC race

The reported frontrunner in the race to the Supreme Court has been barred by the Judicial and Bar Council due to a pending case before the Ombudsman.


JBC approves open voting

In a major step for transparency and accountability, the Judicial and Bar Council approved today an open voting system in its nomination of candidates to the Supreme Court


CA Justice Villarama logs highest number of SC reversals

Supreme Court aspirant Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Martin Villarama Jr. has logged the highest number of reversals by the Supreme Court in the past two years, while another aspirant, Justice Mariano del Castillo, maintained an unblemished record.


Arroyo pal bares Supreme Court battleground for Cha-cha caper

Quezon City Rep. Matias Defensor said that the House of Representatives would bring their appeal for charter change to the Supreme Court.


JBC grills Devanadera, other aspirants to the Supreme Court

Supreme Court hopeful Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera opposed the proposal of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), which vets contenders to the SC, to conduct open voting.


Disbarment case vs Devanadera revealed in JBC interview

The first three nominees to the Supreme Court to be interviewed by the JBC face pending cases. 


SC nominee: What's wrong with having Palace pals? 

Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera quashed rumors that her political ties with Pres. Arroyo make her a frontrunner to the Supreme Court


Devanadera lobbying for Supreme Court post?

Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera paid JBC member Dean Amado Dimayuga and Supreme Court justices a "courtesy call."


Groups launch 'Bantay Korte Suprema'

A coalition of legal, business and academic communities vowed to keep watch on the next Supreme Court appointments.


New group pushes for transparent selection of SC justices

JBC member and Bantay Korte Suprema convenor Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan said that inputs from the BKS would be considered in JBC deliberations.


Six Supreme Court aspirants have ties to GMA

Backgrounds of the six nominees to the Supreme Court reveal their connection to the appointing power.   


Frontrunners to the Supreme Court face serious obstacles

Rodolfo Robles and Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera made it as nominees to the Supreme Court amid questions over age qualification and unresolved cases.   


JBC thumbs down open voting

Rep. Matias Defensor, a member of the JBC, said that the body junked the option of open voting


Citizen's group watching appointments to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court Appointments Watch, a consortium of civil society and legal groups, launched its citizen search committee which would field its own nominees to the Supreme Court.


The Seven: Arroyo seen to tighten hold on Supreme Court

Pres. Arroyo will appoint seven justices to the Supreme Court before she steps down in 2010, increasing her appointees to the current SC at 13.


In the High Court, some justices are more loyal than others

A bloc loyal to the appointing power at the Supreme Court splits the vote in political cases.


Voting pattern of Supreme Court justices shows they play politics

Justices appointed by Arroyo voted in her favor in the first cases they handled.