By Jeffrey Damicog
Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Samuel Martires leads the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) shortlist of candidates vying for the post of Ombudsman.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, an ex officio member of the JBC, said Martires received six votes from the total seven members of the JBC.
Guevarra said the shorlist includes former Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and incumbent Ombudsman Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval who got five votes and lawyer Felito Ramirez who received four votes.
Both Martires and Ramires graduated law from the San Beda College where President Rodrigo Duterte also got his law degree.
Ramirez is also Duterte’s fraternity brother at the Lex Taleonis.
Aside from the three, there were candidates for the post, namely, Sandiganbayan Justice Efren dela Cruz; Davao City regional trial court Judge Carlos Espero II; Duterte’s lawyer Edna Herrera-Batacan; Duterte’s law school classmate lawyer Rex Rico; lawyer Raineir Madrid, the legal counsel of Duterte’s son, former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte; and lawyer Rey Nathaniel Ifurung.
Duterte has 90 days to appoint someone for the post once the seven-year term Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ends on July 26.
The JBC which is tasked under the Constitution to screen candidates for posts in the judiciary conducted the voting yesterday and will send its shortlist to the President the same day.
The JBC has three ex-officio members which is currently comprised of Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio who is the ex office chairperson, Guevarra, and Sen. Richard Godon.
The JBC’s regular members are retired SC Associate Justice Jose Mendoza who sits as executive committee chairperson and represents the retired SC justices; lawyer Maria Milagros Fernan-Cayosa, representing the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP); lawyer Jose Mejia who represents the academe; and lawyer Toribio Ilao Jr. for the private sector.