Judicial and Bar Council

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Judician and Bar Council
Judicial and Bar Council of the Philippines (JBC).svg
Country Philippines
Location Manila
Authorized by Constitution of the Philippines
Website jbc.judiciary.gov.ph
The JBC members in the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Panel Interview

The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC; Filipino: Sangguniang Panghukuman at Pang-abogasya) of the Philippines is a constitutionally-created body that recommends appointees for vacancies that may arise in the composition of the Supreme Court, other lower courts, and the Legal Education Board, and in the offices of the Ombudsman, Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor.


The Council is composed of a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a retired member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private sector. They are the "regular" members, as opposed to the Secretary of Justice and a representative of Congress who are the ex officio members. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the ex officio chairman,[1] while the Clerk of the Supreme Court shall serve as the ex officio secretary.[2]

The regular members would be nominated by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of four years. However, since the terms will be staggered, the first set of members would a different lengths of service: the representative of the Integrated Bar shall serve for four years, the professor of law for three years, the retired Justice for two years, and the representative of the private sector for one year.[3] The following members shall be given the full four-year term.

The regular members were allowed to be reappointed without limit. The Secretary of Justice serves at the pleasure of the president, while the representative of Congress serves until they are recalled by their chamber, or until the term of Congress that named them expires. Finally, the Chief Justice serves until mandatory retirement at the age of 70. The regular members' terms start at July 9.

In 2012, a petition at the Supreme Court questioned on who should occupy the seat allocated for Congress. Currently, there are two members of Congress in the council: the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Justice and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights.[4] The Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that there should only be one member of the JBC from Congress; the court left to Congress whom among the two would be its representative to the JBC.[5]

The council is the only government body that has members from all three branches of the government, excluding ad hoc and advisory bodies.

Current membership[edit]

The members of the Judicial and Bar Council are:

Ex officio chairman[edit]

Ex officio members[edit]

  • Vitaliano Aguirre II - Secretary of Justice
  • Representative from Congress - Either the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, or the Chairman of the House Committee on Justice. Under the current arrangement, the congressman sits from January to June, while the senator sits from July to December.
    • Richard Gordon (incumbent Senator and Chairman, Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights)
    • Reynaldo Umali (incumbent Congressman and Chairman, House Committee on Justice)

Regular members[edit]

  • Ma. Milagros Fernan-Cayosa - Integrated Bar representative, a private practitioner
  • Jose V. Mejia - representative from the academe
  • Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez - retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
  • Toribio E. Ilao, Jr. - representative from the private sector[6]

As a matter of tradition, the two (2) senior associate justices of the Supreme Court also take part in the JBC deliberations.


The function of the Council is to recommend to the representatives of possible appointees to the Judiciary.[7]

The president shall choose from among those nominated, before the president may ask the Council to nominate somebody else and add it to the list, but this is not allowed anymore. The person then chosen by the president then becomes a member of the Judiciary, and is not anymore reviewed by the Commission on Appointments. This is to prevent politicking and horse-trading among political parties.

Prior to the creation of the JBC, judges and justices were appointed by the president as per and the 1973 constitution, and with confirmation by the Commission on Appointments as per the 1935 constitution.

Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban said that the Council's principal objective is to attract the best and brightest to the judiciary and to make them remain there.



The members of the JBC were:[8]

Chief Justice[edit]

JBC Ex Officio Chairpersons Position Start of Term End of Term Appointed by
Claudio Teehankee Chief Justice 10 December 1987 12 April 1988 Corazon Aquino
Pedro L. Yap Chief Justice 20 April 1988 29 June 1988 Corazon Aquino
Marcelo B. Fernan Chief Justice 4 July 1988 5 December 1991 Corazon Aquino
Andres R. Narvasa Chief Justice 8 December 1991 30 November 1998 Corazon Aquino
Hilario G. Davide, Jr. Chief Justice 30 November 1998 19 December 2005 Joseph Estrada
Artemio V. Panganiban Chief Justice 20 December 2005 6 December 2006 Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Reynato S. Puno Chief Justice 7 December 2006 17 May 2010 Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Renato C. Corona Chief Justice 17 May 2010 29 May 2012 Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Antonio T. Carpio Senior Associate Justice
Acting Chairperson
30 May 2012 16 July 2012 Benigno Aquino III
Diosdado M. Peralta Associate Justice
Acting Chairperson
16 July 2012 13 August 2012 Benigno Aquino III
Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno Chief Justice 24 August 2012 incumbent Benigno Aquino III

Secretaries of Justice[edit]

Secretaries of Justice Start of Term End of Term Appointed by
Sedfrey A. Ordoñez 10 December 1987 18 December 1989 Corazon Aquino
Franklin M. Drilon 8 January 1990 2 July 1992 Corazon Aquino
Silvestre H. Bello III 16 July 1991 3 February 1992 Corazon Aquino
Eduardo G. Montenegro 17 February 1992 1 June 1992 Corazon Aquino
Franklin M. Drilon 22 July 1992 14 December 1994 Fidel V. Ramos
Demetrio G. Demetria 18 January 1995 17 March 1995 Fidel V. Ramos
Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr. 24 May 1995 28 January 1998 Fidel V. Ramos
Silvestre H. Bello III 18 February 1998 30 June 1998 Fidel V. Ramos
Serafin R. Cuevas 1 July 1998 10 February 2000 Joseph Estrada
Artemio G. Tuquero 11 February 2000 20 January 2001 Joseph Estrada
Hernando B. Perez 23 January 2001 15 January 2003 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Simeon A. Datumanong 22 January 2003 December 2003 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Merceditas N. Gutierrez 28 January 2004 31 August 2004 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Raul M. Gonzalez 1 September 2004 30 May 2009 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Agnes VST Devanadera 8 June 2009 28 February 2010 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Alberto C. Agra 1 March 2010 30 June 2010 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Leila M. De Lima 1 July 2010 12 October 2015 Benigno Aquino III
Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa 12 October 2015 22 January 2016 Benigno Aquino III
Emmanuel Caparas 22 January 2016 30 June 2016 Benigno Aquino III
Vitaliano N. Aguirre II 1 July 2016 incumbent Rodrigo Duterte

Representative from Congress[edit]

Since the creation of the JBC in 1987 until 1994, the representation for Congress in the body alternated between the House of Representatives and the Senate, by their respective Chairman of the Committee on Justice.

One representative[edit]

Congress representative House Start of Term End of Term
Rogaciano M. Mercado House of Representatives 10 December 1987 23 February 1989
Wigberto E. Tañada Senate 2 March 1988 21 May 1990
Isidro C. Zarraga House of Representatives 31 July 1989 12 August 1992
Raul S. Roco Senate 30 September 1992 3 March 1993

Two representatives, half a vote each[edit]

By 1994, the two representatives from Congress began sitting simultaneously, each having one-half of a vote.

Two representatives, one vote each[edit]

On May 30, 2001, the JBC En Banc decided to grant the representatives from both Houses of Congress one full vote each.

One representative[edit]

On 2013, the eight-member composition of the JBC was questioned at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court restored the composition of the JBC to seven. It was arranged that the representative of the House of Representatives sits from January to June, while the representative of the Senate sits from July to December.[9]

Congress representative House Start of Term End of Term
Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III Senate 23 July 2013 31 December 2013
Niel C. Tupas, Jr. House of Representatives 1 January 2014 30 June 2014
Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III Senate 1 July 2014 31 December 2014
Niel C. Tupas, Jr. House of Representatives 1 January 2015 30 June 2015
Leila de Lima Senate 26 July 2016 19 September 2016
Richard J. Gordon Senate 29 September 2016 31 December 2016
Reynaldo Umali House of Representatives 1 January 2017 incumbent

Retired member of the Supreme Court[edit]

Retired Supreme Court member representative Start of Term End of Term Appointed by
Nestor B. Alampay 10 December 1987 10 December 1989 Corazon Aquino
Lorenzo R. Relova 8 January 1990 9 July 1993 Corazon Aquino
Jose C. Campos, Jr. 22 September 1993 9 July 1997 Fidel V. Ramos
Regino C. Hermosisima, Jr. 24 November 1997 9 July 2013 Fidel V. Ramos, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Benigno Aquino III
Angelina Sandoval Gutierrez 8 October 2014 9 July 2017 Benigno Aquino III

Representative from the academe[edit]

Academe representative Start of Term End of Term Appointed by
Rodolfo C. Palma 10 December 1987 9 July 1994 Corazon Aquino
Cezar C. Peralejo 8 February 1995 9 July 1998 Fidel V. Ramos
Alfredo M. Marigomen 21 July 1998 9 July 2002 Joseph Estrada
Amado L. Dimayuga 9 July 2003 9 July 2010 Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Jose V. Mejia 28 April 2011 9 July 2018 Benigno Aquino III

Representative from the Integrated Bar[edit]

Integrated Bar representative Start of Term End of Term Appointed by
Leon M. Garcia, Jr. 17 June 1988 9 July 1991 Corazon Aquino
Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. 7 January 1993 22 March 1995 Fidel V. Ramos
Francisco B. Santiago 1 August 1995 8 July 1996 Fidel V. Ramos
Amado L. Dimayuga 8 July 1997 9 July 2003 Fidel V. Ramos
Conrado P. Castro 9 July 2003 17 March 2011 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Maria Milagros N. Fernan-Cayosa 2 May 2011 9 July 2019 Benigno Aquino III

Representative from the private sector[edit]

Private sector representative Start of Term End of Term Appointed by
Ofelia C. Santos 10 December 1987 9 July 1992 Corazon Aquino
Teresita Cruz Sison 30 September 1992 9 July 2004 Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Estrada
Raoul V. Victorino 12 July 2005 9 July 2008 Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Aurora Santiago Lagman 13 October 2008 9 July 2016 Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Benigno Aquino III
Toribio E. Ilao, Jr. 24 October 2016 9 July 2020 Rodrigo Duterte


  1. ^ 1987 Constitution, Article VIII, Section 8, Paragraph 1
  2. ^ 1987 Constitution, Article VIII, Section 8, Paragraph 3
  3. ^ 1987 Constitution, Article VIII, Section 8, Paragraph 2
  4. ^ "SC asks JBC to comment on Chavez petition". GMANews.tv. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  5. ^ Punay, Edu (2012-07-03). "Only one member from Congress in JBC, SC affirms". Philippine Star. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  6. ^ newsinfo.inquirer.net, CA justice named to body that screens judicial appointees Archived 2008-09-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ 1987 Constitution, Article VIII, Section 8, Paragraph 5
  9. ^ Torres-Tupas, Tetch (2017-01-17). "SC to JBC: Answer petition on seat for solons at meetings". INQUIRER.net. Retrieved 2017-01-21. 

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

See also[edit]