JBC to vote shortlist of bets for Ombudsman on July 20

MANILA — The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is set to vote on the shortlist of candidates for the country’s next Ombudsman on July 20.

This was confirmed by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, an ex officio member of the JBC, in a text message sent to reporters Wednesday afternoon.

“The JBC will vote on July 20 and send the shortlist to the President on the same date,” Guevarra said.

As such, in order to be shortlisted to the post, an applicant must garner at least a majority of four votes from the JBC.

The JBC is constitutionally mandated to screen applicants to the Judiciary and top Ombudsman positions.

It is currently chaired by Senior Associate Justice, now acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, with ex-officio members Guevarra and Senator Richard Gordon. Its regular members include retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza, representing the justices and chairperson of the JBC Executive Committee, Atty. Jose Mejia, representing the Academe, Atty. Milagros Fernan-Cayosa, representing the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and retired Judge Toribio Ilao, representing the private sector.

Nine candidates vying for the Ombudsman post, namely Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, SC Associate Justice Samuel Martires, Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz, Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval and lawyers Edna Herrera-Batacan, Rey Nathaniel Ifurung, Rainier Madrid, Felito Ramirez and Rex Rico were already interviewed by the screening body last June 20.

Another aspirant, Davao City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Carlos Espero II, was no longer interviewed for the post as his interview for the position of Supreme Court Associate Justice was already considered.

The shortlist will then be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte’s pick will replace Conchita Carpio-Morales who will retire on July 26.

Morales, 76, is a retired SC Associate Justice who was appointed by former president Benigno Aquino III as Ombudsman in 2011. PNA-NORTHBOUNDASIA.COM