JBC names 7 nominees to vacant SC associate justice post

Published August 28, 2021, 6:45 AM

by Rey Panaligan 

Judicial and Bar Council

Five Court of Appeals (CA) and Sandiganbayan justices, and two top officials of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) have been nominated to the vacant post of Supreme Court (SC) associate justice.

Nominated were CA Associate Justices Ramon R. Cruz, Japar B. Dimaampao and Maria Filomena D. Singh; Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje Tang and Associate Justice Geraldine Faith A. Econg; and Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez and Deputy Court Administrator Raul B. Villanueva.

Their nominations were sent to President Duterte last Aug. 27 by Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, ex-officio chair of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) — the constitutional office that accepts, screens and nominates appointments to the judiciary.

The President has to appoint one of the seven nominees to fill up the vacancy left last June 30 with the optional retirement of Associate Justice Edgardo L. Delos Santos.

Aside from the post vacated by Delos Santos, the President also has to fill up another SC associate justice post that was vacated with the appointment of then Associate Justice Gesmundo as Chief Justice last April 5.

Most of those nominated to the post of Delos Santos had earlier been nominated to the Gesmundo post. They were, in alphabetical order, Tang, former Ateneo de Manila University law dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Cruz, Dimaampao, Econg, Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Rafael R. Lagos, Marquez, Singh, and Villanueva.

As of Friday, Aug. 27, there has been no appointment announced to fill up the post left by Gesmundo as associate justice.

The SC has 15 members. They hold sessions as a full court and in three divisions of five justices each.