President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) his “sparring partner” classmate.
A one-page transmittal letter of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno conveyed the nomination of retired Pasig Regional Trial Court Judge Toribio Elises Ilao Jr.
Ilao supposedly was a boxing buddy of Duterte during their days at the San Beda College of Law.
Supreme Court (SC) Justices Jose Catral Mendoza and Bienvenido Reyes have described Duterte and Ilao as the bravest men in their law class as they always fight but later on became the best of friends.
Ilao will sit in the JBC subject to confirmation of the Commission on Appointments, his appointment being a regular one.
He is set to replace retired Court of Appeals Justice Santiago-Lagman, who stepped down last July 9, and will represent the JBC Private Sector pursuant to provisions of Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution and existing laws.
Ilao, who will serve until 2020, handled the case of Andrea Rosal, daughter of the late communist leader Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal.
He and Duterte were classmates at the San Beda College of Law, Class of 1971.
The seven-man JBC, which is constitutionally mandated to screen and vet nominees to the President for vacant posts in the judiciary and the Offices of the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman, is headed by Chief Justice Sereno, with ex-officio members Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, Sen. Leila de Lima and Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali.
Retired SC Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez as the head of the Executive Committee and representing the Retired SC Justice Sector, lawyer Jose Mejia representing the Academe and Milagros Fernan-Cayosa representing the Integrated Bar of the Philippines are the other regular members of the council.