You are on page 1of 2

G.R. No. 213181 Jardaleza v.

Sereno Following Justice Abad’s compulsory retirement, the JBC announced the
August 19, 2014 | Mendoza | Judicial and Bar Council, Section 8(1) application or recommendations for the position left by the Associate Justice.
Jardeleza, the incumbent Sol-Gen at the time, was included in the list of
candidates. However, he was informed through telephone call from some Justices
that the Chief Justice herself – CJ Sereno, will be invoking Sec 2, Rule 10 of JBC-
009 or the so-called “unanimity rule” against him. Generally, the rule is that an
PETITIONER: Francis Jardaleza applicant is included in the shortlist when s/he obtains affirmative vote of at least
RESPONDENTS: Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Judicial Bar Council, a majority of all the members of the JBC. When Section 2, Rule 10 of JBC-009,
Executive Secretatry, Paquito Ochoa however, is invoked because an applicant’s integrity is challenged, a unanimous
vote is required. Jardeleza was then directed to make himself available on June
30, 2014 before the JBC during which he would be informed of the objections to
SUMMARY:
his integrity.
Jardaleza is shortlisted as a nominee for Associate Justice. He obtained the
majority votes of the JBC to be nominated. However, CJ Sereno, acting as JBC Jardeleza wrote a letter-petition asking the SC to exercise its supervisory power
ex-officio Chair, invoked the unanimity rule saying that this (instead of majority and direct the JBC to, among others, give Jardeleza a written notice and sworn
rule to be nominated) applies where in the integrity of the candidate is written statements of his oppositors or any documents in the JBC hearings, and to
questioned. Integrity allegations involved his involvement in an arbitration case disallow CJ Sereno from participating in the voting process for nominees on June
as a Solicitor General, alleged extra-marital affair and insider trading. 30, 2014.

Jardaleza was questioned during the JBC discussions without giving time to During the June 30, 2014 meeting of the JBC, Justice Carpio appeared and
disclosed a confidential information which, to CJ Sereno, characterized
prepare for his defense. Court ruled that the allegations involved are questions of
Jardeleza’s integrity as dubious. Jardeleza demanded that CJ Sereno execute a
integrity, yet Jardaleza was deprived of due process, hence, he should be sworn statement specifying her objections and that he be afforded the right to
included in the list of nominees for Associate Justice. cross-examine her in a public hearing. He also requested deferment of the JBC
proceedings, as the SC en banc has yet to decide in his letter-petition.

DOCTRINE: However, the JBC continued its deliberations and proceeded to vote for the
nominees to be included in the shortlist. Thereafter, the JBC released the shortlist
The Supreme Court has jurisdiction to try cases of grave abuse of discretion on
of 4 nominees. It was revealed later that there were actually 5 nominees who
the ground of JBC violating its own rules and depriving a nominee of due made it to the JBC shortlist, but 1 nominee could not be included because of the
invocation of the “unanimity rule”..
process under the bill of rights.

Jardeleza filed for certiorari and mandamus via Rule 65 with prayer for TRO to
compel the JBC to include him in the list of nominees on the grounds that the JBC
and CJ Sereno acted with grave abuse of discretion in excluding him, despite
FACTS: having garnered a sufficient number of votes to qualify for the position.
Associate Justice Abad. This consequence arose from the violation by the JBC of
ISSUES: its own rules of procedure and the basic tenets of due process.

True, Jardeleza has no vested right to a nomination, but this does not prescind
1. W/N the right to due process is demandable as a matter of right in JBC
from the fact that the JBC failed to observe the minimum requirements of due
proceedings? YES
process.
2. W/N the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the case? YES
3. W/N a writ of mandamus is available against the JBC? NO
4. W/N a writ of certiorari under Sec 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is 2.Yes. Jardeleza’s allegations in his petitions merits the exercise of the Court’s
available against the JBC (which is not exercising quasi-judicial supervisory authority over the JBC. Under Sec 8, Art VIII of the Constitution, the
functions)? YES JBC shall function under the supervision of the SC. It follows that such
supervisory authority covers the overseeing of whether the JBC complies with its
own rules or not.

3. No. The JBC’s duty to nominate is discretionary and it may not be compelled
RATIO:
to do something.

1. Yes. While it is true that the JBC proceedings are sui generis, it does not
Mandamus lies to compel the performance, when refused, of a ministerial duty,
automatically denigrate an applicant’s entitlement to due process. but not to compel the performance of a discretionary duty. Mandamus will not
The Court does not brush aside the unique and special nature of JBC proceedings. issue to control or review the exercise of discretion of a public officer where the
Notwithstanding being “a class of its own,” the right to be heard and to explain law imposes upon said public officer the right and duty to exercise his judgment
one’s self is availing. in reference to any matter in which he is required to act. It is his judgment that is
In cases where an objection to an applicant’s qualifications is raised, the to be exercised and not that of the court.
observance of due process neither contradicts the fulfillment of the JBC’s duty to
recommend. This holding is not an encroachment on its discretion in the 4.Yes. Under the expanded jurisdiction or expanded power of judicial review
nomination process. Actually, its adherence to the precepts of due process vested to the SC by the 1987 Constitution, a petition for certiorari is a proper
supports and enriches the exercise of its discretion. When an applicant, who remedy to question the act of any branch or instrumentality of the government on
vehemently denies the truth of the objections, is afforded the chance to protest, the the ground of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
JBC is presented with a clearer understanding of the situation it faces, thereby by any branch or instrumentality of the government, even if the latter does not
guarding the body from making an unsound and capricious assessment of exercise judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions.
information brought before it. The JBC is not expected to strictly apply the rules
of evidence in its assessment of an objection against an applicant. Just the same,
to hear the side of the person challenged complies with the dictates of fairness
because the only test that an exercise of discretion must surmount is that of
soundness.

Consequently, the Court is compelled to rule that Jardeleza should have been
included in the shortlist submitted to the President for the vacated position of