Two Chief Justice Nominees Disqualified

The number of nominees aspiring to become the next chief justice was trimmed down to 20 today, July 24, after the Judicial and Bar Council disqualified two candidates.

The JBC disqualified Vicente Velasquez and former Immigration Commissioner and incumbent Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, the Supreme Court Public Information Office said in a statement.

“The JBC has disqualified the two candidates for failure to comply with the documentary requirements, in their application for the position of Chief Justice,” the SC-PIO said.

Velasquez was scheduled to be interviewed at 10 a.m. of Thursday, while Rodriquez was set to face the JBC 10 a.m. the following day, Friday.

The usual documentary requirements include:

  1. clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation, Ombudsman, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, police from place of residence, Office of the Bar Confidante and employer;
  2. transcript of school records;
  3. certificate of admission to the Bar (with Bar rating);
  4. Income Tax Return for the past two years;
  5. proofs of age and Filipino citizenship;
  6. certificate of good standing or latest official receipt from the IBP;
  7. certificate of compliance with, or exemption from, Mandatory Continuing Legal Education;
  8. results of medical examination; and
  9. sworn medical certificate with impressions on such results, both conducted/issued within two months prior to the filing of the application.

But due to the impeachment trial of ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona, the JBC decided to add two more requirements:

  1. all their previous Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth;
  2. as well as a waiver “in favor of the JBC of the confidentiality of local and foreign currency accounts under the Bank Secrecy Law and Foreign Currency Deposits Act.”

JBC regular member for the academe Jose Mejia earlier told GMA News Online that all the 22 candidates were able to submit their bank waivers.

However, as far as the SALNs are concerned, Mejia admitted some have yet to comply, adding that some candidates claimed to have had “difficulty” in preparing the document. He did not identify those candidates.

The disqualification of the two candidates came on the second day of the four-day public interviews by the JBC of the chief justice aspirants.

Prior to the public interviews, the original 22 candidates first underwent a psychological exam to their fitness for the chief justice post.



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