New frontrunner in SC race emerges

Sandiganbayan Justice Francisco Villaruz may have gotten the top vote among Supreme Court magistrates to replace outgoing Justice Ruben Reyes in January 2009 but his superior in the anti-graft court—Presiding Justice Diosdado Peralta—could just edge him out of the competition.

With the disqualification of two candidates with strong Palace connections—Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera and businessman Rodolfo Robles, who is a family friend of President Arroyo—Peralta, insiders in the judiciary tell us, is emerging as the new frontrunner.

The Judicial and Bar Council delisted Devanadera because of a pending graft case with the Ombdusman and Robles because of his age. Non-career applicants need to serve five years in the Supreme Court. Robles is 65 years and 5 months old.

The JBC has yet to cast its votes for its top three nominees on Monday, December 15. The JBC vets nominees to the appointing authority, the president….

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