Idea by the legal team which initially sought a

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idea by the legal team which initially sought a different manner of presenting the country’s arguments, and there was no showing either of a corrupt purpose on his part. Even Chief Justice Sereno was not certain that Jardeleza’s acts were urged by politicking or lured by extraneous promises. Besides, the President, who has the final say on the conduct of the country’s advocacy in the case, has given no signs that Jardeleza’s action constituted disloyalty or a betrayal of the country’s trust and interest. While this point does not entail that only the President may challenge Jardeleza’s doubtful integrity, itis commonsensical to assume that he is in the best position to suspect a treacherous agenda. The records are bereft of any information that indicates this suspicion. In fact, the Comment of the Executive Secretary expressly prayed for Jardeleza’s inclusion in the disputed shortlist. The Court notes the zeal shown by the Chief Justice regarding international cases, given her participation in the PIATCO case and the Belgian Dredging case. Her efforts in the determination of Jardeleza’s professional background, while commendable, have not produced a patent demonstration of a connection between the act complained of and his integrity as a person. Nonetheless, the Court cannot consider her invocation of Section 2, Rule 10 of JBC-009 as conformably within the contemplation of the rule. To fall under Section 2, Rule 10 of JBC-009, there must be a showing that the act complained of is, at the least, linked to the moral character of the person and not to his judgment as a professional. What this disposition perceives, therefore, is the inapplicability of Section 2, Rule 10 of JBC-009 to the original ground of its invocation. As previously mentioned, Chief Justice Sereno raised the issues of Jardeleza’s alleged extra-marital affair and acts of insider-trading for the first time onlyduring the June 30, 2014 meeting of the JBC. As can be gleaned from the minutes of the June 30, 2014 meeting, the inclusion of these issues had its origin from newspaper reports that the Chief Justice might raise issues of "immorality" against Jardeleza.32 The Chief Justice then deduced that the "immorality" issue referred to by the
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POLITICAL LAW CASE DIGESTS 294 media might have been the incidents that could have transpired when Jardeleza was still the General Counsel of San Miguel Corporation. She stated that inasmuch as the JBC had the duty to "take every possible step to verify the qualification of the applicants," it might as well be clarified. Do these issues fall within the purview of "questions on integrity" under Section 2, Rule 10 of JBC-009? The Court nods in assent. These are valid issues. This acquiescence is consistent with the Court’s discussion supra. Unlike the first ground which centered on Jardeleza’s stance on the tactical approach in pursuing the case for the government, the claims of an illicit relationship and acts of insider trading bear a candid relation to his moral character.
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