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May 25th
Home Columns Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. The JELAC Undermines the Judiciary’s Independence
The JELAC Undermines the Judiciary’s Independence PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - This Week With Nene Pimentel
Saturday, 26 July 2008 22:27

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today called for the dissolution of the Judicial, Executive and Legislative Advisory and Consultative Council (JELAC) because it will undermine the independence of the judiciary.

Senator Pimentel said there are disturbing signs that certain unscrupulous power holders are out to manipulate this ad hoc body along the partisan agenda of the majority.


He said the Senate leadership must withdraw its endorsement JELAC. “To avoid embarrassment, the Senate leadership should scuttle JELAC. First, it undermines judicial independence. And second, its real nature as an instrument of majoritarian (sic) policy manipulation has emerged,” the minority leader said.

 

The opposition has no role to play in JELAC and even if it did, the constitutional intent of ensuring the non-partisan nature of the judicial system could eroded by the fraternization of the head of the Supreme Court with the heads of the Executive and the Legislative houses.

The JELAC was created on May 13, 2008, “to serve as a forum and venue for representatives of the three branches of government to undertake measures on matters affecting the primacy of law, to identify the problems and issues, to formulate solutions and to implement the same.”

 

The JELAC is composed of nine members, namely, the President of the Republic as Chairperson with the Vice President, the president of the Senate and speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as members of the Council. The other members are a Cabinet member to be designated by the President, one senator and one congressman to be designated by the respective leaders of the Senate and House, and an associate justice of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice.

 

Mr. Pimentel noted the explanation of the proponents of JELAC that this body was created not by law but by a memorandum of agreement among the heads of the judicial, executive and legislative branches so that at any given time, any party to the agreement may send notice to the other parties if it desires to withdraw its participation from the Council. # # #



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Last Updated on Saturday, 26 July 2008 22:29
 

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