MANILA, Philippines - The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) will investigate the alleged leakage of the psychiatric examination results of newly appointed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Speaking to reporters after the JBC meeting at the Supreme Court (SC), incidentally, presided over, for the first time, by Sereno, JBC member Atty. Jose Mejia said private sector representative Aurora Santiago Lagman made a formal request for the matter to be investigated.
This, after The Manila Times ran a story about Sereno and fellow short listed candidate Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza scoring 4 in the examinations conducted by two psychiatrists and two psychologists during the screening period for Chief Justice candidates.
Sereno reportedly had her examinations on July 18.
"There's a pending request by Justice Lagman to investigate the leakage because we have been emphasizing from the start that this is very confidential. Our concern is that it was allegedly leaked. It was noted and I think there will be an investigation, but we haven’t talked about the details on how the investigation will proceed," Mejia said.
The psychiatric examination is a requirement for applications to any judicial post. Per practice of the JBC, candidates scoring a 4 on the psychiatric exams are not recommended for any judicial post.
Mejia clarified that initiating a probe does not mean the council is confirming the results of Sereno's psychiatric examinations.
"Kaya nga namin iimbestigahan to determine if there is really a leakage," he said.
Meantime, Supreme Court Associate Justice Arturo Brion's request for a copy of the results of his examinations was denied.
"It's confidential even to the candidates themselves. We never release it, even in the past. To my recollection first time 'to na may candidate na nag-request," Mejia said.