Duterte’s order is contained in a transmittal letter by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to the Supreme Court and the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

Unlike RTC judges, Judges at Large do not have their own salas, but will be tapped for special cases nationwide.

The provisions of Sections 14 (n) and Section 25-A of Batas Pambansa 129, as amended by Republic Act 11459 otherwise known as the “Judges-at-Large Act of 2019” reads:

“(n) One hundred (100) positions of Regional Trial Judges-at-Large are created. The duly appointed Regional Trial Judges-at-Large shall have no permanent salas and may be assigned by the Supreme Court as acting or assisting judges to any Regional Trial Court in the Philippines as public interest may require. The said Judges-at-Large are entitled to salaries, privileges, allowances, emoluments, benefits, rank and title of a Regional Trial Judge. The Supreme Court shall determine the length of such temporary assignment: Provided, That the Judicial and Bar Council shall recommend to the President appointees to the Judges-at-Large positions, after the period of the temporary assignment, the Judicial and Bar Council shall recommend to the President the permanent sala to which the Judge-at-Large shall be appointed.”

The new appointees are: Joel Bantasan, Manasseh Bastes, Mary Grace Bonsol-Cabal, Donabel Breva-Bobier, Nimia Castillo-Peralta, Leo Felix Domingo, Eric Anthony Dumpilo, Aaron Go, Adonis Laure, Helen Magampon-Maberit, Benison Mahawahan, Dennis Mendoza, Glenda Ortiz-Soriano, Rigor PAscual, Caroline Payumo, Minelli Rocio-Carvajal, Maria Cristina Rosario-Osoteo, Panfilo Sala Jr., Ruben Sevillano Jr., Raymund Joseph Sorongon.

The JBC has shortlisted the candidates whose names were submitted to the President. It is constitutionally mandated to screen and vet nominees for vacant posts in the judiciary and the Offices of the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman. It is chaired by former chief justice Diosdado Peralta, with ex-officio members Sen. Richard Gordon, Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Retired (ret.) Supreme Court Justice Jose Catral-Mendoza is the head of the Executive Committee; the other regular members of the JBC are: ret. Judge Franklin  Demonteverde, representing the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; ret. Judge Toribio Ilao, the private sector; and ret. Supreme Court Justice Noel Tijam for the Academe.

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