Senate taps Joker Arroyo as representative to SC oral argument on JBCBy Kate Evangelista
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joker Arroyo will represent the Senate in the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on its ruling on the membership of Congress in the Judicial and Bar Council’s selection of the next Chief Justice, senators said Tuesday.
During the Senate’s session, Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto filed a motion appointing Arroyo as their representative to the high tribunal which the chamber approved shortly after.
In a chance interview before the session, Sotto said that Arroyo has the most experience in legal representation and has experience representing the Senate in the SC.
“We are confident that he will be able to somehow change the tide in as far as the perspective of some of the members of the SC is concerned,” he added.
In a separate interview, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said that it was a unanimous decision among Senators when they chose Arroyo to represent them before the SC.
Senator Franklin Drilon also said that Arroyo shall represent the Senate before the SC. He added that the Senate will maintain its position that both chambers of the house should be represented before the JBC.
“The position is that the House and the Senate should be represented separately,” Drilon told reporters. He said that if in the event they fail to get a favorable ruling from the SC, both houses of the Congress must find means to be represented in the JBC.
“If we chose not to follow it and insist that we should have two and the Supreme Court says you have only one, I guess we’ll have to resolve it. We should find ways by which we can be represented,” he said.
Meanwhile, Enrile welcomed the SC’s decision to open oral arguments saying that this will allow the Congress to express their side of the argument.
“I thank them because I think they were able to understand the importance of the issue and they know that we’re not complaining because we are just representing the opposite side of the argument in order that we can arrive at a better arrangement,” he said.
“Not that we want to defy the SC, it is our duty to point out our position and if it is acceptable to them…,”he added.
The SC scheduled the oral arguments on Thursday.