You are on page 1of 2

G.R. No.

228628
REP. REYNALDO V. UMALI, in his capacity as Chairman of the House of Representatives
Committee on Justice and Ex Officio Member of the JBC, Petitioner vs. THE JUDICIAL AND BAR
COUNCIL, chaired by THE HON. MARIA LOURDES P.A. SERENO, Chief Justice and Ex Officio
Chairperson, Respondent

FACTS:
In Section 8, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines, the members of the
Judicial and Bar Council of the Philippines was stipulated. These are the Chief Justice, the
Secretary of Justice, a representative of the Congress, a representative of the Integrated
Bar, a professor of law, a retired member of the Supreme Court, and a representative
from the Private Sector.
On the 12th of July in 2012, the Supreme Court ruled in the Chavez V. JBC case that having
two (2) members of Congress as representatives is unconstitutional as the framers
intended for a single member of Congress to represent the department in the JBC.
As a result, the Congress agreed upon a 6-month rotational representation in the JBC
wherein the House of Representatives would represent the department from January to
June and the Senate would represent the department from July to December.
On the 2nd and 9th of December in 2016, petitioner Reynaldo Umali, the Chairman of the
House of Representatives, cast his votes for the selection of Supreme Court Justices. With
him being from the HOR, his votes were not counted by the JBC.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the present practice of the JBC in allowing only one (1) member of
Congress to represent the department during deliberations is unconstitutional.
RULING:
No. The JBC is merely following the provisions stipulated in Section 8 of Article VIII of the
1987 Constitution and the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Chavez case.
The Court further ruled that the JBC’s action was ministerial in nature, given that the JBC
did not act with any decision and was merely performing in a prescribed manner.
Otherwise, that would be a discretionary act.
Furthermore, petitioner’s petition is rendered moot as the two recently vacated Associate
Justice positions have already been occupied.
APPLICATION:
The doctrine of Stare Decesis is used the court’s decision given the fact that they had
already ruled a similar case with similar facts in Chavez V. JBC wherein the latter also
discussed the constitutionality of the JBC’s adoption of a 6-month rotational
representation in the JBC. This doctrine is further bolstered by Article 8 of the Civil Code
of the Philippines, which allows for judicial decisions to be a part of the legal system in
the Philippines.
With regards to Section 8, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution, the Court ruled in Chavez
and in the present case at bar that the framers intended for the equal representation of
all three government branches namely, the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judiciary.
To have more than one member representing each department would be unfair.
The court further ruled that when the framers stipulated “a representative of the
Congress,” they had not anticipated that the government would shift from a unicameral
Congress to a bicameral one. Following the rule of Casus Omissus, a case omitted is to be
held as intentionally omitted and the Judiciary cannot supply the omission as that would
be tantamount to judicial legislation.
LAWS/PROVISIONS:
Section 8, Article VIII, 1987 Constitution: A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created
under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex
officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice, and a representative of the Congress as
ex officio Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a
retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private sector.
Article 8, Civil Code: Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution
shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines