Tupas to appeal SC decision on JBC vote-A A +A
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
ILOILO Representative Niel Tupas Jr. said he will appeal the reported Supreme Court (SC) ruling granting a petition that limits the number of representatives of Congress in the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
Reports said majority of the SC justices voted to grant the petition of former solicitor general Francisco Chavez but the official announcement will be made on Thursday. Chavez said the House of Representatives and the Senate should vote as one body only.
The JBC will screen the 22 nominees vying for the post vacated by former Chief Justice Renato Corona from July 24 to 27.
In the present composition of JBC, Tupas and Senate committee on justice and human rights chairman Francis Escudero are ex-officio members along with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and the Chief Justice.
De Lima has inhibited from JBC proceedings after being nominated to the post of Chief Justice as well as Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.
"One representative from Congress is absurd because a congressman cannot represent the Senate and a senator cannot represent the House. The SC decision did not reflect the bicameral nature of our legislature. We will file motion for reconsideration," Tupas said.
Escudero failed to comment as of this posting Wednesday but lawyer Jose Mejia, who represents the academe, said they would respect whatever the decision of the SC will be.
Mejia said they would like to know if the representatives of Congress are entitled to half vote each or sit alternately in the council.
"Maybe the SC decision will be included in our meeting on Friday considering it’s quite important to talk about it," he told reporters.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said he disagrees with the position of the SC.
"For sure, we will ask for reconsideration of it. We will exhaust all our remedies. I don’t like to use the word undermining or anything. What I am saying is that they are reducing the votes to one-half vote. We will take all whatever legal things we can do about it," he said in an ambush interview.
Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara, for his part, finds the SC's interpretation "controlling."
"The interpretation of the SC would tend to be controlling since what is involved is an interpretation of a constitutional provision. Perhaps the House and Senate leadership must meet to decide how to react to such a decision," Angara said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)