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Issue:126 | P a g e
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1Whether or not this practice of the JBC is violative of the 1987 Constitution.Ruling:YES.First, Sec. 8(1), Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution uses the singular letter "a" preceding"representative of Congress" which is unequivocal and leaves no room for any other construction. It isindicative of the intention of the Constitutional Commission that Congress may designate only onerepresentative to the JBC.Second, the purpose of the seven-member composition of the JBC is to provide a solution shouldthere be a stalemate in voting. This reason leads the Court to conclude that a single vote may not be dividedinto half, between two representatives of Congress, or among any of the sitting members of the JBC for thatmatter. This practice can possibly cause disorder and eventually muddle the JBC’s voting process. The purposewould then be rendered illusory, defeating the precise mechanism which the Constitution itself created.Lastly, the paramount justification of the Court is that "Congress," in the context of JBCrepresentation, should be considered as one body. It is evident that the definition of "Congress" as a bicameralbody refers to its primary function in government – to legislate.In the passage of laws, the Constitution isexplicit in the distinction of the role of each house in the process and in its non-legislative powers. An inter-play between the two houses is necessary in the realization of these powers causing a vivid dichotomy thatthe Court cannot simply discount. Verily, each house is constitutionally granted with powers and functionspeculiar to its nature and with keen consideration to 1) its relationship with the other chamber; and 2) inconsonance with the principle of checks and balances, to the other branches of government. This, however,cannot be said in the case of JBC representation because no mechanism is required between the Senate andthe House of Representatives in the screening and nomination of judicial officers. Hence, the term "Congress"must be taken to mean the entirelegislative department. Therefore, the practice of having more than onerepresentative from the Congress in the JBC negates the principle of equality among the three branches ofgovernment which is enshrined in the Constitution.Note:In an En Bancdecision (April 16, 2013 penned by J. Mendoza), the Court denied the OSG’smotion for reconsideration on behalf of Sen. Escudero and Rep. Tupas. FRANCIS H. JARDELEZAv. CHIEF JUSTICE MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO, THE JUDICIAL AND BARCOUNCIL AND EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.G.R. No. 213181, August 19, 2014, Mendoza, J.As provided for by the 1987 Constitution, the Court has supervisory powers over the Judicial and BarCouncil (JBC). Verily, as a meaningful guidepost, jurisprudence provides the definition and scope of supervision. Itis the power of oversight, or the authority to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. It ensures that thelaws and the rules governing the conduct of a government entity are observed and complied with. Supervising