MANILA, Philippines - The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) maintains it will continue functioning with its present composition amid queries made by former Solicitor General and Chief Justice nominee Frank Chavez that the ex-officio member from Congress should only be one, instead of two.
Under the current composition, Sen. Francis Escudero and Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas represent the Senate and House Justice Committees, respectively.
Speaking to reporters after today's JBC meeting, Escudero said the council sees no need to change its present composition. He added that both he and Tupas will continue to sit in the council so as not to be charged of abandonment of duty.
"The present composition of the JBC stays unless restrained by the Supreme Court... ganoon na talaga kahit nung bago pa ako umupo," he said.
Escudero said anybody who intends to question the JBC composition before the high court may do so.
The other JBC members include Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio (in place of the Chief Justice), Justice Sec. Leila De Lima, Justice Regino Hermosisima (representing retired justices of the Supreme Court), retired Court of Appeals Justice Aurora Lagman (private sector), Atty. Milagros Fernan-Cayosa (Integrated Bar of the Philippines), Atty. Jose Mejia (academe), and SC Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, Jr., SC Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, and SC Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez as consultants.