December 17, 2008 – Wednesday
KIKO CALLS FOR WIDER SEARCH FOR 2ND SC VACANCY
In a bid to promote transparency and participatory governance, Independent senator and judicial reform advocate Kiko Pangilinan today called for a wider search for nominees of the post to be vacated by Justice Azcuna on February 16, 2009.
“With Chief Justice Puno’s compulsory retirement in 2010, the seven new associate justices will radically change the composition of the SC. We are not only talking of a change in the Judiciary but also a potential change in the direction of the nation should the Constitutional Assembly debate be raised to that level. The responsibility for this search should not only be given to the Judicial and Bar Council. Filipinos should get involved on the process because this is a concrete way we can reform the judicial system, that’s why we reiterate our call for transparency and public participation in the process,” Kiko explained.
Seven Justice positions will be opened next year as seven of the members of the High Court are expected to retire. The JBC has been in the process of finding the replacement for Justice Ruben Reyes who will retire on January 3, 2009. The search for the second opening that of Justice Azcuna, has started receiving nominations. Also due to retire next year are: Dante Tinga on May 11; Adolfo Consuelo Ynares-Santiago on October 5; Leonardo Qusimbing on November 6; and Minita Chico-Nazario on December 5.
“We have long worked on confronting the perceived exclusivity of the JBC’s selection process, as clearly, the appointment of our public officials is a matter of public interest. We have made a lot of developments, such as the opening of the voting process of the JBC, but the thrust to find the seven most credible new justices has only begun. We must not waver on this goal, and the only way to do this is to keep our public involved,”
Kiko added. Sen. Kiko is the former Senate ex-officio member to the JBC. He now works with his brain-child watchdog group Bantay Korte Suprema, a multi-sector organization that monitors the selection of the nominees to the justice positions. For more info on the nominees, type BKS and send to 2948. If you want to send info about a nominee type BKS, name of nominee, info on the nominee and then send to 2948. ###