Thursday, 14 June 2012 11:16
Sen. Chiz Escudero is asking Mindanaons to participate in the selection of the next Chief Justice bynominating candidates from their region they feel fit to occupy the top post inthe Supreme Court.
Escudero, the Senaterepresentative to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), said the search for thenext chief magistrate is not limited to applicants and nominees from Luzon andfrom within the Supreme Court.
“The hunt for the nextChief Justice is an open season and is not limited to the Supreme Courtjustices. We need someone who is neutral and not identified with partisangroups. Applicants and nominees within and outside the highest court of theland are welcome as long as he or she is qualified, reputable and has a cleanrecord,” Escudero said.
Under the existing JBCrequirements, all court applicants must be Filipino citizens; possess provencompetence, integrity, probity and independence and a member of the Philippinebar; at least 40 years old; and have been in the practice of law in thePhilippines for at least 15 years.
In addition, aspirantsfor the top magistrate post are now required to submit a waiver on theconfidentiality of bank deposits, income tax return (ITR) and the opening ofthe statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), as a result of theproposal put forward by Escudero to the JBC following the conclusion of theimpeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
“He can apply or benominated either by a group, by an individual, by a classmate, by a friend, bya relative. It doesn’t really matter for as long as after being nominated, heshould manifest his intent to accept and he should manifest before thecommittee that he is accepting the nomination. We will be acceptingapplications and recommendations until June 18,” Escudero said.
Among the nomineesoutside the Supreme Court as of June 8 are former University of thePhilippines law dean Raul Pangalangan, Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, familylaw expert Katrina Legarda, Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, dean emeritusof the Ateneo Law School Cesar Villanueva, and Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.
The five sittingmagistrates of the Supreme Court – Associate Justices Antonio Carpio,Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Arturo Brion and DiosdadoPeralta – are automatically nominated for the top post by virtue of seniority.
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