MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court defended Monday its decision to allow 2 representatives of Congress to sit in the Judicial and Bar Council in voting for the shortlist of candidates for Chief Justice.
SC spokesperson Atty. Gleo Guerra said the High Court did not flip-flop in its decision to suspend the provision making immediately executory its July 17 resolution that allowed only 1 congressional representative in the JBC.
"Tinake note nung Korte Suprema 'yung fact na nung nagsimula 'yung proceedings para i-select 'yung nominees for chief justice, nagparticipate 'yung dalawa, kaya for them mas equitable para ituloy na nila 'yung participation nila hanggang sa pagboto ng nominado [para sa shortlist],” Guerra told radio dzMM.
"Hindi naman talaga flip-flop kasi later on puwede namang i-upheld, i-affirm 'tong July 17 decision, 'di naman necessary ire-reverse ito ng Supreme Court."
The SC decision earlier affirmed former Solicitor General Frank Chavez’s petition that only 1 congressional representative can sit in the 7-man JBC.
Guerra said the general rule on SC decision is that it is not immediately executory until made final except in the case of the July 17 resolution. She said that since the “immediately executory” provision was lifted, this means that the status quo in the JBC will remain.
In an interview, Chavez said the SC’s latest decision allowing the 2 representatives from the legislature to sit in the JBC is unclear.
"Sa akin lang, medyo hindi maintindihan ng taumbayan 'yan kasi unconstitutional na eh, bakit ipagpapatuloy pa? So, parang pinagbigyan,” he said.
"Kaming mga abogado, iba tingin namin. Parang the Supreme Court, to give it the benefit of the doubt, parang it sets aside some degree of statesmanship."
He, however, added that there is nothing stopping the decision of the SC.
The JBC is set to vote today on the final shortlist of candidates for the position of Chief Justice.