THE Judicial and Bar Council yesterday asked the Supreme Court to reverse its ruling declaring that the President has the prerogative to appoint any nominee to the judiciary and to allow the seven-member council to clip the powers of the Chief Executive by imposing the “clustering system” in the shortlist of possible appointees.
The Supreme Court ruled last November that the President has the prerogative to appoint any nominee to judicial post from the shortlist submitted by the JBC.
The High Court also declared as unconstitutional and illegal the “clustering scheme” of the JBC wherein the council selects and separates the names of candidates from one cluster to another.
The scheme was used only during the time of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno as an ex-oficio officer of the JBC.
Under the clustering scheme introduced by Sereno to the JBC, six shortlists containing different sets of names were submitted to then President Aquino for six vacancies in the anti-graft court.
But Aquino ignored the shortlist submitted by the JBC and chose two names.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines questioned the appointment by Aquino of Michael Frederick Musngi and Geraldine Faith Econg to the anti-graft court. The two were from the sixth shortlist. -- Ashzel Hachero