The Philippine Supreme Court accepted a petition to strip Congress of one of its votes in the Judicial and Bar Council. Article VIII Section 8 (1) of the Constitution gives Congress “a” representative, not one for each chamber.
This comes ahead of an expected vote for a new chief justice following the impeachment of Renato Corona earlier this year. It is a bit surprising and possibly not a coincidence that the Supreme Court changed the voting rule after having two representatives since 2001. Perhaps the court thought that given Congress’ vote to impeach Corona, they might disagree over judicial candidates.
Full article from PhilStar here.
Of course, there’s always been a large potential conflict of interest underlying the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona. Namely, President Aquino would have a chance to appoint another justice to the court if he succeeds. However, two recent articles raise other possible conflicts of interest. The Supreme Court of course decided the fate of the Aquino family’s plantation in Hacienda Luisita. President Aquino adamantly denies any connection and points out that impeachment started with the Supreme Court’s decisions on Arroyo and the TRO. Second, and perhaps more interesting, Chief Justice Corona has accused Justice Carpio’s old firm (commonly known as “The Firm”) as behind the “black propaganda” against him. Of course, should Corona be removed, Carpio would probably be his successor. The Firm denies any involvement in the impeachment, but the accusations do raise the question of whether Carpio can keep his hands entirely clean in this whole affair.