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29/04/2017: PH JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL HOLDS OBSERVATION VISIT IN DC

PRESS RELEASE
WDC–24–2017
29 April 2017

Embassy Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto (blue suit) with the Judicial and Bar Council delegation led by Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II (2nd row, 1st from right) and Representative Reynaldo Umali (3rd row, 1st from left) at the Philippine Embassy on 24 April 2017.

WASHINGTON, D.C.— A delegation from the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) visited Washington, D.C. from 23 to 27 April 2017 for an observation visit of the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission and the American Bar Association.

Comprising the delegation were Ex Officio members, Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II; and Representative Reynaldo Umali, Chairman of the House Committee on Justice; and JBC regular members, retired Supreme Court Justice Angelina Sandoval-Guiterrez, Atty. Jose Meji, Atty. Maria Milagros Fernan-Cayosa, and retired RTC Judge Toribio Ilao, Jr.

The JBC’s visit to Washington, D.C. provided the opportunity for comparative research on judicial selection in light of the JBC’s constitutional mandate to nominate appointees to all judicial positions in the Philippines. Some of the positions under the JBC’s appointive jurisdiction include those of the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court; the Presiding Justice and the Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals, the Court of Tax Appeals, and the Sandigandayan; the judges of the lower courts; as well as the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsmen.

The delegation was briefed in separate meetings on the judicial selection processes in the United States by District Judge Emmet Sullivan, Chairman of the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission, and Deputy Director Denise Cardman of the American Bar Association’s Governmental Affairs Office. There was also an active exchange of ideas and sharing of best of practices in terms of the Philippine and American judicial systems. For their part, the delegation emphasized the importance of judicial appointment and the JBC’s key responsibility in ensuring that the individuals it nominates to the President are competent, independent, honest, and truly fit to become members of the bench.

While in Washington, D.C., Ambassador Susan Coppedge of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (JTIP) took the opportunity to call on Secretary Aguirre following the recent signing of a Child Protection Compact (CPC), a bilateral agreement aimed at eliminating online exploitation of children and child labor trafficking. The CPC allows the provision State Department funding in the amount of $3.5 million towards the implementation of the CPC partnership.

Secretary Aguirre and Representative Umali were likewise keynote speakers in a town hall meeting on 25 April 2017 organized by the Philippine Embassy for the members of the Filipino Community.  The delegation also attended a breakfast meeting hosted by the US-Philippines Society on 27 April 2017. ###

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-35-2017
29 April 2017

The JBC delegation shares experiences and views on judicial selection with District Judge Emmet Sullivan, Chairman of the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission on 26 April 2017.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-36-2017
29 April 2017

Secretary Aguirre (right) and Representative Umali (left) were the keynote speakers at the Talakayan sa Pasuguan (townhall meeting) held at the Embassy on 25 April 2017.