SC declares chief justice post vacant

The Chief Justice post is now officially vacant.

The Supreme Court (SC) declared this after it denied with finality former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s appeal to reverse its May 11 ruling disqualifying her from occupying the top SC post.

“The 90 day period for filling the vacancy in the Office of the Chief Justice commences today, 19 June 2018,” the high court said.

The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), the body constitutionally mandated to screen aspirants to the top SC and Ombudsman posts, has opted to wait for the high court’s decision to become final.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, a member of the JBC, earlier said they waited for the high court’s decision on Sereno’s appeal to be final even if the high court ordered the JBC to start its nomination process on May 11.

The JBC will screen the applicants and submit a shortlist of candidates to President Rodrigo Duterte. He has 90 days to appoint a new chief magistrate.

Senior Associate Justice and now acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio currently chairs the JBC.

The ex-officio members include Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Senator Richard Gordon, and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali.

Meanwhile, the regular members were retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza (who represents the justices and the chairperson of the JBC Executive Committee), Atty. Jose Mejia ( who represents the Academe), Atty. Milagros Fernan-Cayosa (who represents the Integrated Bar of the Philippines), and retired Judge Toribio Ilao (who represents the private sector).

Its consultants include retired Chief Justices Hilario Davide Jr., Artemio V. Panganiban and Reynato Puno as well as Deputy Court Administrators Raul Villanueva and Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino. /ee

READ: SC rejects Sereno ouster appeal

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