Coun­cil quashes high court’s ‘no in­ter­view’ pro­posal

Gulf Times - - PHILIPPINES -

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.”

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