Four Regional Trial Court judges and a director from the Office of the Ombudsman have been shortlisted by the Judicial and Bar Council to fill an associate justice post in the Sandiganbayan.
The five nominees are vying for the position vacated by Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Jose Hernandez, who retired last November 16.
Topping the list with seven votes is Makati RTC Judge Maryann Corpus-Manalac.
Her fellow Makati RTC judges, Edgardo Caldona and Honorio Guanlao Jr., also made it to the shortlist with 6 and 4 votes, respectively.
Aparri, Cagayan RTC Judge Oscar Zaldivar obtained 4 votes while Bayani Jacinto, a director from the Office of the Ombudsman, completed the list of nominees.
President Rodrigo Duterte will appoint three new magistrates to the anti-graft court in view of the retirement of Hernandez, the early retirement of Associate Justice Napoleon Inoturan, and the early retirement of Associate Justice Ronald Jurado on February 1, 2017.
Duterte is also expected to appoint 12 of the 15 justices in the Supreme Court during his term.