COA chair, 3 others in shortlist for SC justice

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Monday, June 30, 2014

COMMISSION on Audit (COA) Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan and three other individuals have made it to the shortlist from which President Benigno Aquino III will choose the person to complete the 15-member Supreme Court (SC).

Tan received five votes from the screening body Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) during its meeting on Monday.

Court of Appeals (CA) Justices Jose Reyes, Jr. and Apolinario Bruselas, Jr. topped the shortlist submitted to the Office of the President with six votes each while Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Reynaldo Daway got four votes.

The voting went on despite the request of applicant Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza not to proceed pending the SC's action on Tuesday on his petition to stop Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who raised questions about his integrity, from taking part in the process.

Sereno is the ex-officio chairperson of the JBC. She told Jardeleza about her reservations on his application during the meeting.

Jardeleza, however, said the accusations against his integrity were made without informing him of the nature of the charges and without giving him the opportunity to rebut them in public.

The Solicitor General previously lost in his bid to become SC justice and later on chief justice.

Aquino has until late August to pick the replacement of Associate Justice Roberto Abad, who retired on May 22.

Abad's successor will be the fifth Aquino appointee in the High Court, apart from Sereno and Justices Bienvenido Reyes, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Marvic Leonen. (Sunnex)

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