Consultative Committee wants to amend selection of Supreme Court justices

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The consultative committee (Concom) tasked by President Duterte to draft a new constitution yesterday proposed to amend the selection process for Supreme Court (SC) justices to ensure its independence from political influencers.

Concom member and former SC associate justice Eduardo Nachura said they were also studying the creation of two additional high courts which will resolve constitutional and administrative issues.

Nachura said the sub-committee would review the functions of the judiciary.

He said they would include a provision which will guarantee the separation of powers of the executive and judiciary.

“We are looking at a provision that will change the way members of the high court will be appointed to prevent politicians from meddling in the judiciary,” Nachura told The STAR.

According to Nachura, former chief magistrate and Concom member Reynato Puno proposed the creation of a constitutional court and administrative tribunal with quasi-judicial power to serve as an appellate court of all administrative bodies.

The proposals will be discussed by Concom members during a meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City tomorrow. 

Meanwhile, the camp of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno slammed Solicitor General Jose Calida for admitting that his office was able to secure copies of the chief magistrate’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

In a statement, Josalee Deinla, one of Sereno’s lawyers, said Calida’s admission destroyed the quo warranto petition he filed against the Chief Justice.

On Thursday, Calida said the SALNs supposedly retrieved by Sereno were the same documents his office had obtained and submitted to the SC.

With Calida’s statement, he himself confirmed that Sereno had filed her SALNs when she was a law professor at the University of the Philippines.

“Solicitor General Calida’s quo warranto petition was based on his claim that the Chief Justice failed to meet the constitutional requirement of integrity as she failed to submit her SALNs to the Judicial and Bar Council,” Deinla said.

“His admission proved that his petition is baseless. The recovery of the SALNs destroyed Calida’s argument that the Chief Justice should be removed from office,” she added.           With Evelyn Macairan



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