SIXTEEN candidates from the judiciary, academe and practicing lawyers are vying for the lone vacancy in the Supreme Court (SC).

This after the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) started its search for the next associate justice after Alexander Gesmundo was named chief justice.

Gesmundo succeeded Diosdado Peralta who availed of optional retirement.

Deadline for application for the Supreme Court post was last May 10.

Among the candidates are Justices in the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Office of the Court Administrator of the high court and members of the academe.

From the CA, the applicants are Japar Dimaampao, Apolinario Bruselas, Ramon Cruz, Nina Antonio-Valenzuela, Maria Filomena Singh and Ronaldo Martin.

From the Sandiganbayan, the candidates are Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, Alexander Quiroz, Rafael Lagos and Geraldine Faith-Econg.

From the Office of the Court Administrator, seeking the post for the first time is Deputy Court Administrator Raul Villanueva, along with head Administrator Jose Midas Marquez.

A returning candidate is former Ateneo College of Law Dean Sedfrey Candelaria.

New applicants are Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko and Central Philippine University Dean Salex Alibogha and lawyer Benedicta Dubalabad.

However, the JBC has yet to study the application of each candidate if they are complete in order to qualify them for screening and public interview.

The next vacancies in the high court will be when Edgardo Delos Santos takes an optional retirement within the year due to health reasons; Rosmari Carandang retires in January 2022; and Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe retires in May 2022.

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