MANILA — After almost five years in service, Justice Roberto A. Abad retires today as Supreme Court judge leaving 15 applicants aiming for his post.
Abad was appointed on August 7, 2009 and was required to resign as members of the judiciary are mandatorily obligated to retire at age 70.
He was a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University and served as a trial attorney, an associate attorney at the SC, assistant solicitor general, and dean of the College of Law of the University of Santo Tomas.
Abad was known for his recent decision on the petitions involving the constitutionality of several provisions of the Cybercrime Law under Republic Act No. 10175 and the reforms on the old bar exams system as he was the chair of the 2011 bar examinations committee.
15 applicants aim for the post
Under the Constitution, President Aquino has 90 days from today to appoint Abad’s replacement and whoever will be chosen to replace Abad would be President Aquino’s fifth appointee to the 15-member SC next to Chief Justice Sereno, Justices Bienvenido L. Reyes, Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, and Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen.
The applicants are CA Associate Justices Nina G. Antonio-Valenzuela, Apolinario D. Bruselas, Rosmari D. Carandang, Stephen C. Cruz, Ramon Paul L. Hernando, Jose C. Reyes Jr., and Noel G. Tijam and CA Presiding Justice Andres B. Reyes Jr.; Sandiganbayan Associate Justices Maria Cristina J. Cornejo and Rafael R. Lagos; Solicitor General Francis H. Jardeleza; COA Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido-Tan and COA Commissioner Ma. Rowena V. Guanzon; regional trial court (RTC) Judge Reynaldo B. Daway; and Dean Jose Manuel I. Diokno of the College of Law of the De La Salle University.
The fifteen applicants which include eight from the Court of Appeals (CA), two from the Sandiganbayan, one from the trial court, one from the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), two from the Commission on Audit, and an academician are now being screened by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) as nominees to the post.
The JBC, which is headed by the Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno, is a constitutionally mandated office that accepts, screens, and nominates appointments in the judiciary and the Office of the Ombudsman.
Other JBC members include Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Atty. Jose Mejia; retired CA Associate Justice Aurora Santiago-Lagman, and Atty. Milagros Fernan-Cayosa.
With reports from Rey G. Panaligan