Oral arguments on Congress representation to JBC set-A A +A
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
MANILA (2nd Update, 4:42 p.m.) -- Senators and congressmen may argue before the Supreme Court on Thursday the justification behind the dual representation of Congress in the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
Set at 9 a.m., the oral arguments will not be open to live radio and television coverage, said SC acting spokesperson Gleoresty Guerra in a briefing Tuesday.
"This is not an unprecedented action. The justices want to hear the case on the merits," she said.
Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, the only senior magistrate who did not seek the position of Chief Justice, will preside over the debates.
Expected not to take part are nominees Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo Brion and Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Senator Joker Arroyo, on the other hand, will argue for Congress, which earlier stated that the House of Representatives cannot represent the Senate in the JBC because the latter has distinct constituency, and vice versa.
Citing a constitutional provision, the Court ruled last July 17 that the legislative branch is entitled to only one representative in the body currently screening the 20 candidates for the position.
Congress, however, refused to honor the decision and pulled out Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr. and Senator Francis Escudero from the process while the case is on appeal.
With this development, the JBC moved its final deliberation on the 20 candidates to August 6 but it is unclear if the council will vote and submit a shortlist to President Benigno Aquino III on the same day.
Aquino has until August 27 to select the successor of deposed Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was removed by the Senate impeachment court for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution for failure to truthfully declare peso and dollar accounts in his assets statements.(Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)