MANILA (Mabuhay) — The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a measure banning the re-appointment of a regular member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) who has already served the full term.
Rep. Niel C. Tupas, Jr. (5th District, Iloilo), chairperson of the House Committee on Justice, said House Bill 6040 disqualifies a regular member of the JBC from being reappointed to the same position in any capacity once said member has served the full term of office.
The disqualification shall also apply to any person who has been appointed and has served the unexpired portion of at least two years of the term of office of a regular member who has ceased to become one by reason of death, incapacity or resignation.
Rep. Francis Gerald A. Abaya (1st District, Cavite), one of the authors of the measure, said the bill seeks to ban the re-appointments to the JBC to avoid the possibility of instances where its members, in their desire to be reappointed to the Council, succumb to pressure from the executive to nominate individuals based on political considerations instead of their actual merits and qualifications, seriously undermining the quality of judicial appointments and the independence of the judiciary as a whole.
Abaya said the measure shall enhance the independence of the Judiciary by insulating it from political pressure.
One of the key provisions of the bill enumerates the regular members of the JBC as provided under Art. VIII, Section 8 (2) of the 1987 Constitution, who shall be appointed by the President for a term of four (4) years with the consent of the Commission on Appointments.
The regular members are as follows: (a) representative of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP); (b) professor of Law; (c) a retired member of the Supreme Court, and (d) representative of the private sector.
Co-authors of the bill are Reps. Susan Yap (2nd District, Tarlac), Evelina Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon), Ferdinand Hernandez (2nd District, South Cotabato), Regina Reyes (Lone District, Marinduque), Oscar Rodriguez (3rd District, Pampanga), Silvestre Bello III (Party-list, 1-BAP), Nicasio Aliping, Jr. (Lone District, Baguio City), Pablo Nava III (Party-list, APPEND), Xavier Jesus Romualdo (Lone District, Camiguin) and Victoria Noel (Party-list, AN WARAY).(MNS)