MANILA - (2nd UPDATE) Applications and nominations for the next chief justice will begin Saturday, Sept. 29, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) said Friday.
The opening is in light of the scheduled retirement of Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro on Oct. 8.
The deadline for submission of all applications and nominations, along with the documentary requirements will be on Oct. 15, said Justice Chief Menardo Guevarra, member of the JBC.
The 5 most senior justices of the Supreme Court namely Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano Del Castillo, and Estela Perlas-Bernabe will automatically be nominated by the council.
They, however, will have to submit a letter of acceptance and comply with all requirements, including the submission of at least their latest 10 sworn Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs).
Applicants who will pass the initial screening will then be subject to a public interview.
The JBC will then deliberate and vote for a shortlist of names to be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte, who has to pick his second chief justice appointee 90 days from the day of vacancy, Oct.8.
De Castro, 69, is the second woman to serve as chief justice. She replaced Maria Lourdes Sereno, whose appointment the high court invalidated last May for failure to fully disclose her wealth.
Peralta and Bersamin were shortlisted, along with De Castro during the search for Sereno's replacement. Carpio and Bernabe meanwhile declined their nomination.
President Rodrigo Duterte appointed De Castro to the top magistrate post last August, less than 2 months before her mandatory retirement. Her 41-day term as chief magistrate is the shortest in Philippine history.
Meantime, the JBC, currently chaired by De Castro, will begin to deliberate on Monday, Oct. 1, on the applicants for the post vacated by Associate Justice Samuel Martires who was appointed as Ombudsman in July.