Taxpayer asks JBC to stop search for new CJ

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 05 2012 01:09 PM | Updated as of Jun 06 2012 02:17 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Taxpayer Danilo Lihaylihay has formally asked the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to halt its proceedings in relation to the opening of applications and nominations for the post of Chief Justice following the removal from office of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

In a 4-page letter submitted to the JBC today, Lihaylihay pointed out that Corona may not be removed from office since he was convicted based on a law that has not been rendered valid and effective.

Lihaylihay claimed that Republic Act (RA) No. 6713, An Act Establishing a Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, the law Corona supposedly violated for non-inclusion of cash deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), is invalid because its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) was not published.

Lihaylihay, who questioned the constitutionality of the Impeachment Complaint against Corona before the high court in December, attached a certification from the National Printing Office (NPO) dated May 30, 2012 signed by Evelyn R. Perlado, Asst. Superintendent of Printing, that states:

"This is to certify that this Office (NPO) has no record of receipt, estimate, payment and publication of Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 6713... in the Official Gazette."

Lihaylihay told the JBC that in Tanada vs. Tuvera, et al., the Supreme Court held that "all statutes, including those of local application and private laws, shall be published as a condition for their effectivity, which shall begin fifteen days after publication unless a different effectivity date is fixed by the legislature... Administrative rules and regulations must also be published if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing law..."

He further claimed that under Article 2 of the Civil Code, "the publication of laws must be made in the Official Gazette" and that only publication in the Official Gazette is "the one required or authorized by existing law."

"Ours is a government of laws and not of men or politicians. If the majesty of justice could not be accorded to the highest and/or chief magistrate of this land, then how could the... Filipino people expect justice from our courts of laws in the Philippines?" Lihaylihay's letter read.

"It is in this direction that I am most respectfully asking that Your Honors (JBC members) stop and/or hold in abbeyance the deliberations on the replacement of the Chief Justice Renato Corona..." the letter read.