Monday, January 18, 2010

Nomination for new justice chief opened

THE Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) unanimously voted Monday to open the nomination for the still-to-be vacated position of Chief Justice, but decided to defer the submission of a shortlist of nominees to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said the eight-man council, during its en banc meeting, decided to start the process of filling up the position to be vacated by Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who is set to retire on May 17, 2010.

Puno’s date of retirement is well within the election period that prohibits the President from making appointments.

“There is urgency to come up with a shortlist but there is no urgency to submit it (to the President),” Marquez told reporters in a press briefing.

The JBC is a constitutional body mandated to screen and recommend nominees to vacant judicial posts.

Puno is an ex-officio member of the JBC, while other members are Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera, Senator Chiz Escudero, Representative Matias Defensor, retired SC justice Regino Hermosisima, Dean Amado Dimayuga Jr., lawyer J. Conrado Castro, and retired Court of Appeals (CA) justice Aurora Santiago-Lagman.

Marquez said the JBC will publish the opening of the position for applications or recommendations so that the members could soon deliberate on the list of candidates and publish the names of candidate.

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