The jbc is not expected to strictly apply the rules

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brought before it. The JBC is not expected to strictly apply the rules of evidence in its assessment of an objection against an applicant. Just the same, to hear the side of the person challenged complies with the dictates of fairness for the only test that an exercise of discretion must surmount is that of soundness. While the " unanimity rule" invoked against him is found in JBC-009, Jardeleza urges the Court to hold that the subsequent rule, JBC-010,46 squarely applies to his case. Entitled asa "Rule to Further Promote Public Awareness of and Accessibility to the Proceedings of the Judicial and Bar Council," JBC-010 recognizes the needfor transparency and public awareness of JBC proceedings. Anent the interpretation of these existing rules, the JBC contends that Sections 3 and 4, Rule 10 of JBC-009 are merely directory in nature as can be gleaned from the use of the word "may." Thus, the conduct of a hearing under Rule 4 of JBC-009 is permissive and/or discretionary on the part of the JBC. Even the conduct of a hearing to determine the veracity of an opposition is discretionary for there are ways, besides a hearing, to ascertain the truth or falsity of allegations. Succinctly, this argument suggests that the JBC has the discretion to hold or not to hold a hearing when a n objection to an applicant’s integrity is raised and that it may resort to other means to accomplish its objective. Nevertheless, JBC adds, "what is mandatory, however, is that if the JBC, in its discretion, receives a testimony of an oppositor in a hearing, due notice shall be given to the applicant and that shall be allowed to cross-examine the oppositor." Again, the Court neither intends to strip the JBC of its discretion to recommend nominees nor proposes that the JBC conduct a full-blown trial when objections to an application are submitted. Still, it is unsound to say that, all together, the observance of due process is a part of JBC’s discretion when an opposition to an application is made of record. While it may so rely on "other means" such as character clearances, testimonials, and discreet investigation to aid it in forming a judgment of an applicant’s qualifications, the Court cannot accept a situation where JBC is given a full rein on the application of a fundamental right whenever a person’s integrity is put to question. In such cases, an attack on the person of the applicant necessitates his right to explain himself. The JBC’s own rules convince the Court to arrive at this conclusion. The subsequent issuance of JBC-010 unmistakably projects the JBC’s deference to the grave import of the right of the applicant to be informed and corollary thereto, the right to be heard. The provisions of JBC-010, per se,
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POLITICAL LAW CASE DIGESTS 297 provide that: any complaint or opposition against a candidate may be filed with the Secretary within ten (10) days thereof; the complaint or opposition shall be in writing, under oath and in ten (10) legible copies; the Secretary of the Council shall furnish the candidate a copy of the complaint or
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