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JBC finalizes shortlist for Sandiganbayan post vacated by Ong
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA - From an initial list of 38 aspirants, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on Monday shortlisted five nominees for the post at the Sandiganbayan left vacant following last year's sacking by the Supreme Court of Associate Justice Gregory Ong.

The JBC said the five candidates, whose names were submitted to the Office of the President for consideration, are Muntinlupa City RTC Branch 207 Judge Philip A. Aguinaldo, Makati City Branch 141 Judge Mary Ann Corpus-Manalac, Quezon City Branch 97 Judge Bernelito R. Fernandez, Assistant Solicitor General Sarah Jane T. Fernandez, and Justice Undersecretary Jose Justiniano.

Aguinaldo garnered seven votes along with Corpus-Manalac, while the two Fernandez got six each, and Justiniano five votes from the JBC.

Aguinaldo is a former senior state prosecutor at the Department of Justice (DOJ) before he was appointed RTC judge, while Corpus-Manalac is a recipient of many awards including the 2013 Judicial Excellence Award.

Justiniano is a DOJ Undersecretary and part of the panel prosecuting the plunder cases against government officials allegedly involved in the pork barrel scam.

He also served as a lawyer of US Marine Corporal Daniel Smith who was convicted but later acquitted for the 2005 Subic rape case.

Fernandez (Bernelito) is a Quezon City RTC judge while Fernandez (Sarah Jane) is part of the team from the Office of the Solicitor General that successfully argued cases before the SC, such as the reformed value added tax.

Ong was dismissed from the service last year for his supposed links to alleged pork barrel fund scam architect Janet Lim-Napoles.

Under the Constitution, the members of the High Tribunal and the judges of the lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the JBC for every vacancy.

The President has 90 days upon receipt of the transmittal letter within which to fill up such vacancies.