MANILA -- The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) reminded aspirants for the Chief Justice post to submit copies of statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), if they have previously worked in government.
In an announcement posted Friday, SC Clerk of Court and JBC Ex Officio Secretary Edgar Aricheta said those in the private sector, but were in government service within the past ten (10) years should also submit copies of all their Sworn Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Networth (SALN) for the said period.
The failure of ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to meet this 10-SALN requirement was among the grounds cited by the SC in granting the quo warranto petition against her.
The petition sought to void Sereno's appointment as Chief Justice in 2012 due to her failure to submit before the JBC her SALNs she was supposed to have filed during her tenure as law professor of the University of the Philippines (UP).
Last June 19, the High Court denied with finality the motion for reconsideration filed by Sereno, who is the first top magistrate to be removed from office through quo warranto proceedings.
The SC formally opened last June 26 the search for the post of Chief Justice after it affirmed last June 19 its ruling to oust of Sereno. It set the deadline for nomination and application for July 26.
To qualify for a position in the judiciary, one has to be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines and should possess proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.
Those applying to the 15-member SC should also be at least 40 years old, a judge of a lower court or had been engaged in the practice of law in the country.
Applications may be made by the applicants themselves or through the recommendation of another person, association, or organization. Endorsements or recommendations have to be formally accepted by the person being recommended.
The SC also said that the five most senior Associate Justices of the SC are automatically nominated, subject to the submission of a written acceptance of nomination to be submitted on or before July 26.
The five most senior magistrates are Antonio Carpio, Presbitero Velasco, Jr., Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, and Lucas Bersamin.
These five justices are Antonio Carpio, who is now acting Chief Justice, Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, and Lucas Bersamin.
SC Justices Mariano del Castillo and Estela Perlas Bernabe could be added to the list if Velasco and De Castro won't be automatically nominated due to their upcoming retirement this August 7 and October 8, respectively.
The 1987 Constitution requires that the Chief Justice position be filled within 90 days from vacancy or from the finality of the SC ruling last June 19.
President Rodrigo Duterte needs to appoint Sereno's replacement by September.
The JBC is constitutionally mandated to screen applicants to the judiciary and top Ombudsman positions.
It is currently chaired by Senior Associate Justice Carpio, with ex-officio members Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Senator Richard Gordon, and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali.
Its regular members include retired SC 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. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency