JBC to await final SC ruling on SC chief justice appointment

April 5, 2010 10:33 pm 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr.

BAGUIO CITY, April 5 — The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) will await the finality of the decision of the Supreme Court allowing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to appoint the successor of Chief Justice Reynato Puno.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary and concurrent Solicitor General Alberto Agra said here on Monday that the JBC members will wait for the final SC ruling before they submit their shortlist of nominees to President Arroyo on or before May 17, 2010.

Voting 9-1-2-3, the SC ruled last March 17 that President Arroyo has the power to appoint the next Chief Justice to replace Puno who will retire this coming May 17.

The SC also ordered the JBC to submit its shortlist of nominees for the Chief Justice post to President Arroyo on or before Puno's retirement.

Agra, who is an ex-officio member of the JBC, also said that a public interview will be conducted for the six nominees to the Chief Justice position on the whole day of April 19 and half-day on April 20, 2010.

Other members of the JBC, chaired by Chief Justice Puno, who are present here are retired Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Aurora Lagman, retired SC Associate Justice Regino Hermosisima, Dean Amado Dimayuga, Atty. Jay Castro, House Committee on Justice Chair and Quezon City Rep. Matias Defensor Sr. and Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero.

Agra said that during the regular meeting of the JBC on April 26, they will be able to decide on who will be included in the shortlist of nominees to be submitted to President Arroyo.

The six nominees are SC Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justices Renato Corona, Conchita Carpio-Morales, Arturo Brion and Teresita Leonardo de Castro, and Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Edilberto Sandoval.

Agra said that if the JBC will be asked to comment on the recent SC ruling, they will submit their comment to the SC.

He added that the Council arrived at an "open-ended" decision to conduct the public interview so as to give the eight members of the JBC the opportunity to interview the six nominees.

The notice of the public interview will be published on Wednesday (April 7).

Likewise, Agra said that the JBC will ask both Justices Carpio and Carpio-Morales to clarify on their position that they will only accept the nomination if the appointment for the next Chief Justice will be made by the next President. (PNA) scs/PTR

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