THE Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to explain the alleged “railroading” of Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza’s nomination to the lone vacancy in the High Court.
Jardeleza filed a petition for a temporary restraining order stopping President Benigno Aquino 3rd from appointing a new member of the tribunal.
Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno did not take part in Tuesday’s session because she was named as respondent in Jardeleza’s petition.
The Solicitor General claimed that the chief magistrate “acted in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction” when she blocked the inclusion of Jardeleza’s name in the shortlist of nominees submitted to the President by invoking Rule 10, Section 2, of the JBC rules.
The rule can be raised on a whim by any JBC member who wishes to disqualify a candidate due to questions of integrity.
The SC gave Sereno and the JBC 10 days to comment on the Solicitor General’s petition.
In his petition, Jardeleza urged the High Court to “direct the JBC to include him in the shortlist of nominees for SC Associate Justice vice Justice Roberto A. Abad,” who retired on May 22.
The JBC, headed by Sereno, submitted four names from the shortlist—Court of Appeals Justices Jose Reyes and Apolinario Bruselas, Commission on Audit Chairperson Gracia Pulido-Tan and Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Rogelio Daway.