by Katerina Francisco and Michael Bueza, Rappler, June 19, 2017

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is set to interview candidates for the post to be vacated by Supreme Court (SC) Justice Bienvenido Reyes, who is set to retire on July 6.

 

The JBC is tasked to vet the applicants and submit a shortlist to President Rodrigo Duterte.

 

Here’s a quick profile of the 12 candidates who will face the public interviews on Monday, June 19.

 

Jose Midas P. Marquez

 

  • Current SC court administrator
  • Former chief, SC public information office
  • Nominated by the Philippine Judges Association
  • Earned BA Economics degree in 1987, and Juris Doctor degree in 1993 from the Ateneo de Manila University. Admitted to the Bar in 1994.
  • Started career in SC in 1991 as a summer apprentice doing legal research in office of one associate justice while still a student, then became regular law clerk of several SC justices

 

 

Apolinario D. Bruselas Jr

 

  • Court of Appeals justice and chairperson, 13th Division
  • Law degree from the University of the Philippines
  • Prior to his appointment to the CA in 2005, he used to work at the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Quezon City regional trial court
  • He was nominated in 2013 as candidate for the Sandiganbayan presiding justice vacancy, but lost to Amparo Cabotaje-Tang
  • Previously shortlisted for a vacancy in the Supreme Court thrice – in 2011, 2014, and 2016
  • Earned an award for Judicial Excellence in 2003

 

Rosmari D. Carandang

 

  • Court of Appeals justice and chairperson, 3rd Division
  • Law degree from the University of the Philippines
  • Placed 9th in the 1975 Bar examination
  • Was nominated for a vacancy in the Supreme Court 4 times – in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2016 – but lost on all occasions
  • Previously served as a Manila regional trial court judge
  • Became a subject of a complaint in 2008 and was alleged to have asked for money before she ruled in favor of the complainant in a case

 

Stephen C. Cruz

 

  • Court of Appeals justice and senior member, 4th Division
  • Law degree from Ateneo Law School
  • Previously served as a presidential staff legal officer and lawyer for various major corporations
  • Before his appointment to the CA in 2006, he was presiding judge of the Lucena City Branch 60 regional trial court
  • Earned the Quezon Gintong Medalya Ng Karangalan in 2008
  • Penned the 2015 resolution that asked Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to comment on the contempt charge filed by ousted Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr

 

Ramon M. Bato, Jr.

 

  • Court of Appeals justice and chairperson, 11th Division
  • Law degree from Silliman University
  • Before his appointment to the CA in 2004, he was a court attorney at the SC, a municipal trial court judge in Imus, Cavite; and a regional trial court judge in Dumaguete City
  • Co-founded and organized the Supreme Court Assembly of Lawyer-Employees and was elected its first Vice-President and later president in 1991
  • Became a subject of a complaint in 2008, where he was accused of “illegal, scandalous and anomalous” conduct in handling a case. The SC dismissed the complaint.
  • Wrote the decision dismissing the double murder case against then-police chief Panfilo Lacson over the 2000 killings Dacer-Corbito killings
  • Applied for SC post in 2011, but was unsuccessful

 

Andres B. Reyes Jr.

 

  • Court of Appeals presiding justice and chairperson, 1st Division
  • Law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University
  • Also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Philippine Women’s University
  • After law school, he worked at the Office of the Ombudsman
  • Appointed judge of Metropolitan Trial Court in Makati in 1987, and judge of Metropolitan Trial Court in San Mateo, Rizal in 1990
  • Appointed as CA associate justice in 1999, and promoted to presiding justice in 2010
  • Was nominated for a vacancy in the SC in 2014 and 2016, but lost
  • Grandson of former SC justice Alex Reyes, and son of former CA presiding justice Andres Reyes Sr

 

Jose C. Reyes Jr.

  • Court of Appeals justice and chairperson, 4th Division
  • Law degree from San Beda College
  • Appointed to the CA in 2003
  • Before CA, he worked as a Metropolitan Trial Court judge in Pasig and Regional Trial Court judge in Rizal
  • Was a candidate for a vacancy in the SC in 2012, 2014, and 2016, but lost on all occasions
  • Accused by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV of accepting a bribe just to stop the suspension of former Makati City mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr

 

Ramon Paul L. Hernando

 

  • Court of Appeals justice and junior member, 3rd Division
  • Law degree from San Beda College of Law
  • Before his appointment to the CA in 2010, he was a trial court judge for nearly 7 years
  • Previously served as a state prosecutor with the Department of Justice for 5 years
  • Taught commercial law, civil law, and remedial law in several law schools
  • Applied for a vacancy in the SC in 2014

 

Four other candidates are also vying for the post, but they will no longer be interviewed as their previous interviews are still valid:

 

Rowena M. Apao-Adlawan

  • Pasig regional trial court judge
  • Previously served as Davao Regional Trial Court Branch 13 judge
  • Was interviewed in November 2016 for the post to be vacated by retired SC justice Jose Perez

 

Japar B. Dimaampao

 

  • Court of Appeals justice and chairperson, 7th Division
  • Law degree from University of the East College of Law
  • Law professor specializing in commercial law and taxation
  • Applied for SC post in 2016, and during his interviews, he vowed to enrich jurisprudence on sharia laws

 

Amy C. Lazaro-Javier

 

  • Court of Appeals justice and senior member, 8th Division
  • Law degree from University of Sto Tomas
  • Joined the Office of the Solicitor General in 1983 as trial attorney, and later became Assistant Solicitor General in 1994
  • Appointed to the CA in 2007

 

Rita Linda S. Ventura-Jimeno

 

  • Vice dean of Centro Escolar University law school
  • Law degree from University of the Philippines
  • Managing partner of Jimeno Cope & David Law Offices
  • Specializes in family law and is an arbitrator and a Supreme Court-accredited mediator
  • Was the first Filipino to be elected as director in the International Criminal Bar
  • Was the second female president of the Philippine Bar Association

 

After appointing Reyes’ replacement, Duterte is also set to appoint another SC justice soon to replace Justice Jose Mendoza, who will retire on August 13.

 

The President will also get to appoint 8 more justices within his term. – with earlier reports from Rey Santos Jr and Jee Geronimo / Rappler.com