ANDRES Bautista, the newly-minted chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), flunked the psychiatric examinations conducted by the Supreme Court (SC) and the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) when he aspired to become the nation’s Chief Justice in 2012.
A source of The Manila Times in the judiciary has said Bautista, who was chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government when he applied for the post, got a similar grade result with then-Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who eventually clinched the position.
Bautista’s appointment to the Comelec was announced on Monday. He presided over his first en banc session with the commissioners on Tuesday.
When asked to comment on the findings of his psychiatric test and psychological report, Bautista said, “[It’s] a complete lie.”
An 11-page “Psychiatric and Psychological Report for the 10 July 2012 Preliminary Meeting” with the JBC that was prepared by two psychiatrists and two psychologists stated that aside from Sereno–who flunked with the mental test with a grade of “4”– Bautista also notched the same mark.
Under existing policies of the JBC, an applicant to any position in the judiciary who garners a grade of “4” shall not be recommended while a candidate who gets a grade of “5” shall be considered “mentally disturbed.”
The psychiatric report was verified and noted by a JBC lawyer for authentication. The document is with the JBC Secretariat for safekeeping.
The JBC screens and vets nominees for vacant judicial posts.
The initial number of nominees swelled to over 70 and was trimmed down to 22. For the first time, the JBC allowed live media coverage of final interviews.
Before the interviews were conducted from July 24 to 26, members of the JBC had been given copies of the psychiatric test results during their July 19 preliminary meeting, The Times source said.
Aside from Sereno and Bautista, three other aspirants got a low grade of “4” while one got a grade of “5.”
The “strictly confidential” report stated that all of the candidates shall be graded under its “Five Point Numerical Rating System.” One shall be considered as the highest or superior, three shall be the median and five being the lowest or a failing mark.
In the same psychiatric testing, SC Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, the current fourth most senior magistrate of the High Court was the only nominee who notched a grade of 1 in her test.
The second highest passer in the psycho testing was SC Justice Antonio Carpio, who got a grade of 2 in his psychiatric testing.
The other nominees who were shortlisted by the JBC who got a grade of 3 in their mental health test were SC Justices Arturo Brion, Roberto Abad, former Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora and Ateneo College of Law Dean Cesar Villanueva.
Among the prominent names who passed the psychiatric testing then were Justice Secretary Leila de Lima who notched a grade of 3 and SC Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco who got a grade of 2.