Former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and ex-officio of the Judicial and Bar Council, Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan, asks the JBC to reconsider its stance on disallowing live media coverage of the voting processes in selecting the country’s next Chief Justice.
“We are humbly asking the JBC–for the sake of transparency, accountability, and good governance–to reconsider its position. We have learned from and during the impeachment trial that the public has a higher stake in governance, now more than ever. If some effort is required to change the rules of the JBC, this is all for the sake of implementing urgently needed reforms in the Judiciary.”
Pangilinan earlier called for the amendment of the JBC rules to allow public access to the entire process of selecting the country’s next Chief Justice, saying doing so will provide for greater accountability, utmost transparency, and good governance in the Judiciary. However, the JBC has released a statement saying that it is not inclined to adopt the proposal.
“We’re not doing this for ourselves or to make the process more cumbersome,” Pangilinan points out. “We’re doing this for the common good–to remove the shroud of secrecy that has been hanging over the Judiciary through the years, to show that the judicial branch is ready for reform.”
“Whatever time and effort will be put into amending the rules will be worth it in the end. Hindi na po puwede ang dating gawi. If we want real change, we must be willing to dare and do things differently. If we want to serious reforms in the Judiciary, then we must be willing to change even the processes by which its leaders are selected. This will allow for more ripples of change to happen throughout the bureaucracy.”
“With all these in mind, we hope the JBC can reconsider its decision,” Pangilinan reiterates.
Photo source: Supreme Court of the Philippines