Expanding JBC members a ‘good idea,’ says DOJ chief
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday described as a “good idea” the plan to reorganize and expand the composition of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
“A pro-active search will improve the quality of the men and women who will join our judiciary,” Guevarra, an ex-officio member of the JBC, told reporters.
“That would mean more work for the JBC, but with an expanded membership, the council can do it,” he added.
Guevarra issued the statement following the reported proposal by the Consultative Committee (Con-Com) to expand members of the JBC.
Under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the JBC is mandated to have the principal function of nominating appointments to the judiciary and the Office of the Ombudsman.
Currently, JBC is composed of seven members including the SC chief justice; the Justice Secretary and a representative from Congress as ex officio members; and a representative each from retired SC justices, academe, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and the private sector as regular members.
Con-Com head and retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno plans on adding more ex officio members in the JBC and would include the Ombudsman and the chairpersons of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Commission on Audit (COA).
The retired chief magistrate explained that the inclusion of these officials to the JBC could help better screen candidates, particularly on such questions on qualification and integrity. /je
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