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Monday, April 22, 2019

Scrapping of JBC eyed under federalism

HOUSE Deputy Speaker and Capiz 2nd District Representative Fredenil Castro on Tuesday, January 16, shared some of the proposed revisions in the role of the judiciary under a federal form of government.

Castro, who chairs the technical working group on the judiciary, said that among the proposals is the creation of an appellate court in each of the proposed states, namely: Manila, Luzon, Visayas, Bangsamoro and Mindanao.

Each Court of Appeals in the regions will help address the backlog of cases in Metro Manila courts.

Castro said they were also eyeing the removal of the Judicial and Bar Council, the seven-man tribunal tasked to screen and recommend to the President nominees to the judiciary.

"The Judicial Bar Council should be deleted because it is the prime minister who should nominate those who qualify through the Commission on Appointments," Castro said.

The sub-committee also proposed to amend the retirement age of Supreme Court Associate Justices and judges to 65 years from the current 70 years old.

The lawmaker further proposed the creation of a constitutional court which will have exclusive jurisdiction over all cases concerning constitutionality, treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decrees, proclamation orders, ordinances and regulation in question, among others.

When asked about the danger that the abolition of JBC could make all the members of the judiciary political appointees, Castro said all appointees will exercise independence once they have paid their debts to the one who appointed them.

All these proposals will be elevated to all the members of the House for discussion once they convene as a constituent assembly.

The resolution compelling the House to convene as a constituent assembly will likely be passed within the week. (SunStar Philippines)
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