Rep. Reyaldo Umali (Oriental Mindoro) is the chairperson of the House of Representatives' Committee on Justice. The STAR/Boy Santos

JBC member: Psych test no basis to disqualify candidate
Kristine Joy Patag ( - February 12, 2018 - 2:33pm
MANILA, Philippines — A candidate's rating on the Judicial and Bar Council's psychiatric exam cannot bar them from a post in the judiciary, a member of the council said on Monday.
Maria Milagros Fernan-Cayosa, who represents the Integrated Bar of the Philippines on the JBC, told the House justice panel that there is no "passing or failing" score in the council's psychiatric exam for candidates.
Last week, SC Clerk of Court Enriqueta Vidal "offered" information that Sereno received the grade of 4 when she applied for chief justice in 2012.
Larry Gadon, who filed an impeachment complaint against the chief justice, claims that Sereno is unfit to lead the judiciary due to her score in the JBC's psychiatric exam. But Cayosa said that, for the council, "we couldn't really understand what 1, 2, 3, 4 (grade) mean."
She said that when the JBC has the test done, what we are looking at is if the person has psychosis." She said that a candidate with a grade of 5 "must be suffering psychosis or a serious mental disorder."
She said that a candidate with a score of 5 or who is found to have a "diagnosable condition" will get a lower ranking. She said, though, that there is no rule that says candidates with a score of 5 are disqualified from the post.
She added that the council conducts a "clinical examination" of candidates but stressed that what the JBC really needs is an "industrial evaluation." 
Rep. Reynaldo Umali (Oriental Mindoro), chair of the House justice panel, said that the ongoing discussion on the results of the psychiatric evaluation is an "eye opener" for the council. Umali has a seat on the JBC as chair of the House justice committee.
The House committee has been deliberating on whether there is probable cause to bring Gadon's complaint to the Senate for trial.

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