THE powerful Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) yesterday shortlisted seven Court of Appeals (CA) justices for the associate justice post in the Supreme Court (SC) left vacant by the appointment of now retired chief justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro last August.
CA Associate Justices Manuel Barrios, Apolinario Bruselas, Edgardo Delos Santos, Japar Dimaampao, Ramon Garcia and Amy Lazaro - Javier all topped the list after getting the votes of all six current members of JBC.
CA Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang also made it to the list after garnering five votes during deliberations of the council yesterday.
The Constitution requires an associate justice of the High Court to be a natural-born citizen, at least 40 years old, with experience as judge or in private law practice for at least 15 years and a person with proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.
JBC, the seven-member council tasked to vet aspirants in judicial posts, was chaired by Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio during the voting for this shortlist.
The other members who joined the deliberations were Senator Richard Gordon, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, retired SC Justice Jose Mendoza, lawyer Milagros Fernan-Cayosa and retired judge Toribio Ilao. The council currently has no regular member yet for the academe sector.
The JBC is also currently processing applications for two more vacancies in the High Court - for the chief justice post left by the retirement of De Castro last month and for the vacancy to be left by the retirement of Associate Justice Noel Tijam in January next year.
The council is set to vote on the shortlist for the top judicial post next Friday, Nov. 23.