JBC OKs replacement for de Lima

by Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jul 16 2012 02:59 PM | Updated as of Jul 17 2012 02:13 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has agreed to Malacanang’s proposition to allow a replacement for Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

In a meeting today, the body that vets names for the judiciary agreed to President Benigno Aquino III’s proposal as long as de Lima’s replacement is not lower than someone with the rank of undersecretary.

De Lima is not participating in JBC's vetting process since she is one of the candidates for chief justice.

In a letter dated July 13 and addressed to the JBC, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa said de Lima's nomination left the JBC with no one to represent the President in the selection process for the next chief justice.

The Palace invoked the Supreme Court's extended resolution in Dulay vs The Judicial and Bar Council, where the Court ruled that the most senior justice of the Supreme Court who is not an applicant for chief justice should preside over the proceedings as ex-officio chairman.

"His Excellency, the President, fully agrees with the holding of the Supreme Court that complete membership in the JBC is preferable,” the letter read.