March 18, 2010
MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial Bar Council should not allow itself to become a rubber stamp of the Supreme Court by filing a motion for reconsideration on its decision allowing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to appoint the next Chief Justice, a senator said on Thursday.
The call was issued by Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, a member of the JBC from 2001 to 2008.
“The JBC as a collegial body should vote on whether or not it agrees with the Supreme Court decision, and if it has the vote favoring opposition to the ruling, it should file a motion for reconsideration with the SC,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
The JBC, the senator said, while under the supervision of the SC, was not under its control when it came to its powers to screen nominees and submit the list of nominees to Malacanang.
“The JBC is not, and never should be, a rubber stamp of the Supreme Court. It should vote on the issue and make its stand known to the public,” Pangilinan added.
In an interview Wednesday, just shortly after the high court came out with the ruling, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, the Senate’s representative to JBC, said a motion for reconsideration could still be filed by the petitioners.
And once the decision becomes final, Escudero said that would be the only time that the JBC would act on its mandate.
By tradition, he said, the JBC would submit its list of nominees to the President a week before the Chief Justice retires.
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