JBC to vote on Ombudsman shortlist July 4th

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 24 2011 08:48 AM | Updated as of May 24 2011 10:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Judicial and Bar Council(JBC) will vote on applications and nominations for the post of Ombudsman on July 4, at the earliest.

This, as the Supreme Court(SC) said the council will no longer be granting any extension of the application/nomination period for the position.

In a news conference with reporters, SC Public Information Office(PIO) acting chief Atty. Ma. Victoria Gleoresty Guerra, bared this was decided in Monday's JBC executive session.

House Justice Committee chairman Rep. Niel Tupas, Jr. who also sits as council member, asked the council if it could fast track the process "considering the importance of the post" but was told the schedule could no longer be adjusted.

"For me, matagal yun. I want the process to be a little faster because in the interim, there is an acting Ombudsman there. To me, I'm not sure whether the (case) documents magiging intact pa rin," he said.

The Constitution mandates that a new Ombudsman be appointed 90 days after the post has been vacated. Former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez resigned last May 6, ahead of an impeachment trial against her at the Senate.

The names of candidates whose applications/nominations shall be given due course will be released to the public.

"The official list of those candidates who are deemed prima facie qualified who will be interviewed by the JBC for the position of Ombudsman as well as their respective schedules of interview will be released this week," Guerra said.

The list will be published in two newspapers of general circulation and will be uploaded to the JBC website.

The JBC, chaired by Chief Justice Renato Corona, will meantime vote on June 21st at the earliest, on two vacancies in the Supreme Court this June with the retirement of Associate Justices Conchita Carpio Morales and Antonio Eduardo Nachura, and on who shall be appointed Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon.

Other JBC members include Justice Secretary Leila de Lima; Sen. Francis Escudero, Senate Justice Committee Chairman;  Justice Regino Hermosisima, Jr. (Retired Supreme Court Justice Representative); Justice Aurora Santiago Lagman(private sector representative); Atty. Ma. Milagros Fernan-Cayosa(IBP representative); and Atty. Jose Mejia(academe representative).