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JBC violating Constitution?


LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… he calls his own sheep by name…” (John 10:3, the Holy Bible).

PRAYERS FOR DOLPHY: To all of us who laughed and were endlessly entertained by Dolphy, the Philippine Comedy King, it is time to show our appreciation for him: let us all pray that God in His great mercy will continue to bestow the favor of good health to him, even as he furiously fights for his life at the Makati Medical Center now.

RH BILL IS NOT THE SOLUTION, SEN. PIA: Sen. Pia Cayetano, the solution to the ever-increasing maternal mortality rate, or the number of mothers dying during childbirth, is not passing a law that would allow even baby girls to kill children in their wombs, such as the Reproductive Health Bill. The solution is finding ways to prosper husbands and wives, so they could be given the economic capability to prepare for their children.

What the Senate should work on, after wasting its time on a useless impeachment proceeding whose outcome was well-known long before its termination, should be laws that would create more jobs, induce more local and foreign investments, and, yes, even spiritual uplift of more Filipinos. The problem is, it would seem no one in the Senate wants to pursue these laws.

TOUGH BALANCING ACT RE: NEW MINING RULES: It would be a tough balancing act for President Aquino when he finally signs a new executive order prescribing revised rules covering the mining industry in the country. Certainly, he has to see to it that more investments in mining will be generated by the new rules, to enable more capital to come in, so more jobs and economic opportunities could be generated for our people.

But then, the President also has to consider the environmental impact of more liberal mining rules, especially with powerful personalities rallying behind the call to preserve and protect the environment and the ecological systems where mining activities are being undertaken. It would be interesting to find out how the new mining rules will work to balance all of these interests.

In the meantime, all that Filipinos could do now is to pray that President Aquino is thoroughly guided by God in this endeavor. As we have said often enough here, the prayer of a righteous man is both powerful and effective (James 5:16 of the Bible). Also, in 1 Timothy 2:2, we who believe are asked to pray for our rulers and kings, so all of us could live in peace.

JBC VIOLATING CONSTITUTION? Sen. Francis Escudero’s statements on who should be---or who should not be---chosen as the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has given rise to an interesting sidebar: is he legally sitting as a member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC)? The question is valid, considering the Constitutional provision on the membership of the JBC, which says that the legislature will have just one representative.

At this point, however, there are two representatives of the legislature in the JBC. The first is Escudero, and the second is Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., the chairman of the justice committee of the House of Representatives. Both Escudero and Tupas are sitting as JBC members, apparently in violation of the Constitution.

Former Associate Justice Leonardo Quisumbing raised this point earlier, and we wrote about it here in this column, but those involved chose to remain silent about it. Now that the JBC is facing a milestone in choosing the new chief justice, it is well to address this point now: is the Constitution violated by the presence of two representatives from Congress at the JBC? Since this has been the practice ever since, were all the previous official acts of the JBC null and void?

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by Atty. Batas Mauricio

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