June 5, 2012
Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Pangilinan on Tuesday  urged the Judicial and Bar Council to open to the public the proceedings of the Judicial and Bar Council for a more transparent process of picking nominees to be the next Chief Justice.

“Now is the time [to do this]. We’ve opened up the SALNS (statements of assets, liabilities and networth) of judges. There’s a wave of change and we should ride that wave,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan, who was once served as the Senate’s representative to  the JBC, said he is proposing that the JBC amends its rules to make public the interview of applicants for Chief Justice, other Justices and the Ombudsman.

“The purpose of keeping that interview secret is to insulate the process from politics. Insulating the process from politics is good, but shrouding it with secrecy can be open to abuse,” Pangilinan said.

A day after former Chief Justice Renato Corona was convicted by the Senate impeachment court for failing to disclose his $2.4 million and P80.7 million deposits in various bank accounts, the Supreme Court has ordered the release of SALNS of all justices and judges.

The JBC will screen and interview the applicants for the Chief justice post. Following interview of applicants and deliberations of JBC members, the JBC will submit a shortlist to the President.

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