Palace asks for de Lima’s replacement in JBC-A A +A
Monday, July 16, 2012
MALACAÑANG confirmed Monday that the Office of the Executive Secretary has asked the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to replace Justice Secretary Leila de Lima as its ex-officio member.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the letter penned by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa stated the need to appoint another representative of the executive branch to the JBC as replacement of de Lima, who inhibited from the vetting body after being nominated for the Chief Justice post.
"We confirmed that we sent a letter to the Judicial and Bar Council last July 13 essentially to state that since secretary of justice has been nominated to the position of Chief Justice, the secretary of justice as an ex-officio member of the JBC has been left vacant," said Lacierda.
He said since the position of the secretary of justice is the only voice of the Executive branch in JBC's selection process, it would be deemed necessary that the Executive branch have a representation to the JBC.
"As you know the secretary of justice is the only position occupied by the Executive branch. The others are while they are appointed by the President they do not represent the Executive branch. Furthermore the secretary of justice is the alter ego of the Executive branch," he added.
He said the Executive branch is asking in the same manner that the Supreme Court (SC) is insisting on its decision to have Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta as the head of the JBC.
The SC ruled that Peralta should head the selection process of the next Chief Justice since he is the most senior SC justice who declined his nomination.
"In the event they accept the designation of Associate Justice Peralta we are also asking for the same courtesy," said Lacierda.
Lacierda said the Palace is not yet considering anyone to replace de Lima.
As Malacañang confirmed the request to replace de Lima, Senator Francis Escudero, who is an ex-officio member of the JBC, said the JBC will allow President Benigno Aquino III to replace de Lima.
He said the Executive branch should have a representative in the JBC since the Supreme Court will also have its representative.
The JBC, which is a body tasked by 1987 Constitution to screen nominees for vacant judicial post, has already started vetting nominees for the replacement of deposed Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Corona was removed from post by the Senate impeachment court last May due to culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust for not truthfully disclosing his assets and net worth. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)