By Rey Panaligan
President Duterte is mandated to appoint a new Supreme Court (SC) associate justice on or before January 21 as replacement to then Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta who was promoted Chief Justice last October 23.
Under the Constitution, the President has 90 days to appoint a replacement to a vacancy in the judiciary.
In the case of the vacancy left with Peralta’s promotion, the 90-day period ends on January 21.
The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) – the constitutional office that accepts, screens, and nominates appointments in the judiciary – has submitted to the President six nominees to the vacant post.
Nominated were Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez and Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justices Manuel M. Barrio, Samuel H. Gaerlan, Ramon R. Garcia, Jhosep Y. Lopez, and Eduardo B. Peralta Jr.
Whoever is appointed by the President will complete the 15-member composition of the SC. He will also be the President’s 11th appointee among the incumbent justices.
The President has appointed 10 incumbent SC justices. They are Associate Justices Andres B. Reyes Jr., Alexander G. Gesmundo, Jose C. Reyes Jr., Ramon Paul L. Hernando, Rosmari D. Carandang, Amy C. Lazaro Javier, Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, Rodil V. Zalameda, Mario V. Lopez, and Edgardo L. Delos Angeles.
It was also the President who appointed Peralta as Chief Justice and head of the country’s judiciary.