Retired Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin has recommended to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) the nomination of Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo as associate justice of the Supreme Court (SC).
Bersamin’s recommendation was for the post which will be vacant on Jan. 9, 2022 with the compulsory retirement of Associate Justice Rosmari D. Carandang.
The JBC – the constitutional office that accepts, screens and nominates appointments to the judiciary – has opened the application and recommendation to Carandang’ post.
Last Oct. 14, Bersamin sent a letter sent to Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, JBC chairperson, to recommend Aguinaldo.
Aguinaldo accepted Bersamin’s recommendation in his letter to Gesmundo dated last Oct. 22.
The 15-member SC still has an existing vacant associate justice post as a result of the early retirement last June 30 of Associate Justice Edgardo L. Delos Santos.
Six nominees had been named by the JBC to Delos Santos’ post. The list had been submitted by the JBC to President Duterte last Aug. 27. As of early Saturday, Oct. 23, the President has not announced his appointee.
Nominated were Court of Appeals Associate Justices Ramon R. Cruz 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.
“Chairperson Aguinaldo’s long and varied experience in the public and private sectors proves his competence, integrity, probity, and independence that eminently render him fit and deserving of appointment as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court,” Bersamin said in his letter.
Before his COA appointment in 2015, Aguinaldo was deputy executive secretary for legal affairs of the Office of the President.
A law graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, Aguinaldo garnered seventh place in the 1992 bar examinations.
In 1997, he obtained his Masters Degree in Law from the University of Michigan in the United States.
He had been a professor of law in many law schools in the National Capital Region.