Council quashes high court’s ‘no interview’ proposal
The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has rejected a proposal that Supreme Court (SC) justices nominated for the post of chief justice should no longer be interviewed during the vetting process.
The high court en banc, in an Internal Resolution dated September 4, 2018, asked that the five most senior justices be exempted from the oral interview during the vetting process for the position of chief justice. The Manila Times was able to obtain a copy of the resolution.With the retirement of Chief Justice Teresita de Castro last week, five senior justices of the tribunal were automatically nominated by the JBC – Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.
Unimpeachable sources of the Manila Times said the JBC en banc junked the SC proposal, pointing out that the council is an independent constitutional body and the public interviews of applicants is part of the “transparency” process. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, JBC ex-officio member, neither confirmed nor denied the report that the JBC junked the high court’s recommendation. The three page SC resolution, signed and promulgated by Edgar Aricheta, Clerk of Court of the SC en banc, stated that while the interview is part of the vetting process of the JBC, the SC justices’ philosophy can be determined already through their ponencias or decisions.
The resolution stated: “Whereas, the Supreme Court has administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof exercised en banc.”