Monday 22 October, 2018
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SC en banc rejects appointment of Philja exec

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The Supreme Court (SC) has rejected the appointment of an official of the Philippine Judicial Academy (Philja) by then chief justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, who was ousted via quo warranto, saying only the court en banc can appoint someone with such judidial rank.

In a 40-page resolution, the SC stressed it was beyond the chief justice’s realm to appoint officials with judicial ranks such as lawyer Brenda Jay Mendoza, who was appointed by Sereno as Philja chief of office for the Philippine Mediation Center in 2016.

The resolution stated that only the SC en banc can approve the appointment for such a post, and other judicial positions with salary grade of 29 and above.

“This Court’s nature as a collegial body requires that the appointing power be exercised by the Court en banc, consistent with Article VIII, Section 1 of the Constitution,” the ruling penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, read in part.

“The Philja chief of office for the Philippine Mediation Center receives the same compensation and benefits as an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals. Due to this position having judicial rank, which bears a salary grade of 30, and consistent with the prior Resolutions of this Court, the Philja chief of office for the Philippine Mediation Center is deemed included as among the positions which shall be appointed by the Court en banc,” it added.

Also, the SC noted another flaw in Mendoza’s appointment, specifically the lack of recommendation from the Philja board of trustees.

But the SC no longer voided Mendoza’s appointment following her resignation during the impeachment proceedings against Sereno, saying such legal issue was already moot and academic.

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