JBC to interview 12 contenders for SC post

MANILA, Philippines - The Judicial and Bar Council, the body that screens and vets aspirants for the judicial posts, will hold its public interview with 12 contenders to the post of Supreme Court Associate Justice on October 23 and 25.

Scheduled to be interviewed on October 23 are Court of Appeals Associate Justices Ramon Bato Jr. and Rosmari Carandang, former University of Perpetual Help System Law Dean Jose-Santos B. Bisquera and Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Maria Cristina Cornejo.

The JBC will interview former regional trial court Judge Adoracion Cruz-Avisado, CA Justices Magdangal De Leon, Isaias Dicdican, Jose Reyes, Noel Tijam, CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes, former University of the Philippines Law Dean Marvic Leonen, and former Department of Energy Secretary Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla on October 25.

De Leon, Tijam, Dicdican, Andres Reyes and Lotilla have previously vied for the post. Leonen and Lotilla were previously nominated for the post vacated by dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona on May 29, but both declined the nomination. Lotilla then said that the tradition of appointing the most senior justice must be upheld.

The JBC will not interview 3 other hopefuls - De La Salle University Law Dean Jose Manuel Diokno, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Teresita Herbosa, and former Ateneo Law Dean Cesar Villanueva - because they had already been interviewed by the council when they tried for the post of chief justice.

The 15 contenders are seeking the seat left vacant by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno when she was appointed to the highest post in the judiciary on August 24.

The public interviews are a venue for aspirants to articulate their judicial philosophy and answer complaints against them, if any.

After the interview, the JBC will vote on its shortlist -- which should contain at least 3 names -- and submit it to President Benigno Aquino III. The President has 90 days to appoint the next SC justice. - Rappler.com