MANILA, Philippines - A petition was filed by a taxpayer, Famela Dulay, seeking to stop the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) from proceeding with its search for a new Chief Justice.
Dulay urged the high court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent the JBC from further accepting nominations and applications.
“After due considerations, respondent Honorable JBC be permanently enjoined from submitting a shortlist of nominees to the President for its appointment of the Chief Justice of the Honorable Court,” the petition read.
Dulay cited Sec. 9, Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution which states: “The members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepare dby the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy."
Dulay argues that this constitutional provision does not explicitly state that the appointment of the Chief Justice should be made by the President even as it is the practice for many years.
“(I)t is clear, like a crystal ball that the President of the Republic of the Philippines can only appoint members or justices but not a Chief Justice of the Honorable Supreme Court, through the list of at least three (3) nominees
prepared and submitted by the respondent Honorable JBC," the petition read.
“If the intention of the commissioners in the Constitutional Commission then chaired by Honorable Cecilia Palma, they could easily include the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to be appointed by the President, but they did not. The constitution is clear and unambiguous on this point, as to who must be appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines,” the petition further stated.