he Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has nominated six Court of Appeals justices and the Court Administrator to replace Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr. who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 on Friday.
On the list submitted to Malacañang by the JBC on Wednesday were the names of Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justices Ramon Cruz, Japar Dimaampao, Jhosep Lopez, Eduardo Peralta Jr., Ricardo Rosario and Maria Filomena Singh, as well as Court Administrator Midas Marquez.
Reyes was a Court of Appeals justice for 15 years before he was appointed by President Duterte to join the 15-member Supreme Court in August 2018. He will retire on Sept. 18 upon reaching 70 years old.
During a special session on Tuesday, the justices and employees honored Reyes, the 179th associate justice of the high court, with a retirement ceremony where he unveiled a portrait that would be hung in the halls of the Supreme Court building on Padre Faura Street in Manila.
He was accompanied by his nutritionist-wife Maria Ofelia, children Leonard Joseph, Olivia Joyce and Valerie Joan and grandson Rian Ozzie. Under the Constitution, Mr. Duterte has to appoint Reyes’ replacement within 90 days from vacancy of the position.
There are already six vacancies on the CA after Justices Rodil Zalameda, Edgardo de los Santos, Mario Lopez and Samuel Gaerlan were named to the Supreme Court. CA Associate Justices Luisa Padilla and Jane Aurora Lantion also retired from service.
There is also a vacancy on the Sandiganbayan after the death of Justice Reynaldo Cruz last February. The Legal Education Board (LEB) also has three unfilled positions after the end of the term of chair Emerson Aquende and members Zenaida Elepaño and Abelardo Domondon.T
he Court of Tax Appeals also has two vacancies after the mandatory retirement this year of Justices Cielito Mindaro-Grulla and Esperanza Fabon-Victorino. —DONA Z. PAZZIBUGAN
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