MANILA (UPDATED) - Voting 7-4, the Supreme Court on Tuesday granted the petition of Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza to be included in the Judicial and Bar Council shortlist for the post of SC Associate Justice following the retirement of Associate Justice Roberto Abad.
The high court said Jardeleza was denied due process when his name was not included in the shortlist submitted to Malacanan despite having obtained a majority vote of 4.
The JBC is directed to include his name in the shortlist.
President Aquino has until tomorrow, Aug. 20, to appoint the next SC magistrate.
Jardeleza was earlier left out of the shortlist after Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, as ex-officio chairman of the JBC, invoked rule 10, section 2 of the JBC rules.
Under that provision, “when the integrity of an applicant who is not otherwise disqualified for nomination is raised or challenged, the affirmative vote of all the members of the Council must be obtained for the favorable consideration of his nomination.”
Jardeleza said the JBC, which chooses names for the judiciary, violated his rights to due process when it gave way to Sereno’s objection even without informing him of the nature and basis.
He said Sereno’s objections should have been raised during his public interview, adding that he was only informed of these later on, when the JBC was about to vote on the shortlist.
The JBC shortlist earlier included Court of Appeals Associate Justices Apolinario Bruselas and Jose Reyes Jr., who both got six votes; Commission on Audit (COA) chairperson Gracia Pulido-Tan, who got five votes; and Regional Trial Court of Quezon City Judge Reynaldo Daway, who got four votes.
Jardeleza also got four votes.