JBC must convene soon - Escudero
MANILA, Philippines- The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) must convene soon to begin the process of selection the new Chief Justice, Sen Francis Escudero said Wednesday, May 30.
In a statement, Escudero, a member of the JBC, said he will ask the council to convene immediately and issue a memorandum to send notice of vacancy in the chief justice position. The council also also open the position for applications and nominations, he added.
“The law always abhors a vacuum. Not because the SC lost its Chief Justice, we stop functioning as a council," Escudero said. "We need to continue with our works as usual and part of it is to immediately look for someone to fill the vacancy in the highest court”.
The JBC is headed by the Chief Justice, but he may be replaced by the acting Chief Justice -- unless the acting Chief, in this case Justice Antonio Carpio -- is also a nominee for the post.
Escudero has been batting for the appointment of an outsider to replace ex-Chief Justice Renato Corona.
“I am hoping that the vetting will be from the outside circle of the President’s official family, friends and the current Supreme Court composition so that we strictly adhere to the new leaf we all are looking forward to. The nation has been heavily divided with the recent impeachment exercise, it’s time for all of us to work for healing, reconciliation so we can already move on and move forward,” Escudero said.
Escudero seemed to be alluding to Carpio, a co-founder of The Firm, the Villaraza Cruz Angangco law office that played an influential role in the Ramos and Arroyo governments. One of Carpio's former colleagues, Avelino Cruz Jr., served as a legal adviser of defeated vice presidential candidate and current Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas.
Escudero is identified with Roxas' rival in the 2010 vice presidential race, Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Roxas has a pending electoral protest against Binay. The Presidential Electoral Tribunal, which is hearing the protest, is headed by the Chief Justice. - Rappler.com
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