Judicial Bar Council of the Philippines Panel Interview for First the 6 Chief Justice Nominees | BlogPh.net

Judicial Bar Council of the Philippines Panel Interview for First the 6 Chief Justice Nominees

Earlier today, the first 6 Chief Justice nominees were panel interviewed with live TV and radio coverage. These include Andres Bautista, Soledad Cagampang-De Castro, Leila de Lima, Jose Manuel Diokno, Francis Jardeleza, and Maria Carolina Legarda.

The official list of nominees includes the following (in alphabetical order as per their last names):
  1. SC Associate Justice Roberto A. Abad
  2. PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista
  3. SC Associate Justice Arturo D. Brion
  4. Law Professor Soledad Cagampang-De Castro
  5. Acting Chief Justice Antonio T. Carpio
  6. Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima
  7. Human rights lawyer Jose Manuel I. Diokno
  8. SEC Chairperson Teresita J. Herbosa
  9. Solicitor-General Francis H. Jardeleza
  10. Women’s rights advocate Maria Carolina T. Legarda
  11. SC Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro
  12. Lawyer Rafael Morales
  13. Former UP Law Dean Raul C. Pangalangan
  14. Congressman Rufus B. Rodriguez
  15. Comelec Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento
  16. SC Associate Justice Maria Lourdes A. Sereno
  17. Lawyer Manuel DJ Siayngco Jr.
  18. UE Law Dean Amado D. Valdez
  19. SC Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr.
  20. Lawyer Vicente Velasquez
  21. Former Ateneo Law Dean Cesar Villanueva
  22. Former Executive Secretary Ronaldo B. Zamora
*highlighted names have already been publicly interviewed
7/24/2012
7/25/2012
7/26/2012
7/27/2012
Disqualified and will no longer be interviewed

There were actually 26 names listed on the JBC site tally with two of them being applicants and not nominated by any party. Pijao, Ferdinand Jose David Emmanuel Edralin Marcos Sr. and Tria-Infante, Amelia were on the original list. Applicants who were not included in this tally are Esquivel, Jocelyn C. and Floro, Florentino V. The justices of the Supreme Court namely Carpio, Velasco, Leonardo-De Castro, and Brion were automatically nominated.

First 6 Chief Justice Nominees’ Interview


I wasn’t able to watch the entirety of the interviews but I at least saw enough highlights to note down my observations. All of them have no doubt exceptional credentials being educated in high profile universities in the Philippines and abroad. Most of them were even awarded academic achievements during their school years and were even among the top 10 bar topnotchers at specific years.

All of them also either currently hold a significant office or have been part of a monumental or historical event in the country. Leila M. De Lima is of course the current Justice Secretary; Bautista is the Presidential Commission on Good Government Chairman; Jardeleza is the Solicitor-General; Cagampang-De Castro had been active in the mining sector; Diokno is the Dean of De La Salle Universities’ College of Law and was a private prosecutor during Erap’s case; and Legarda is a known women’s right activist who was responsible for then Rep. Romeo Jaloslos’ conviction.

The 6 nominees were interviewed in this order: Bautista, Cagampang-De Castro, De Lima, Diokno, Jardeleza, and Legarda. 

Being a women’s rights advocate, Legarda was naturally asked about relevant issues affecting women including divorce and reproductive health bill. She then stated why she is one of the active supporters campaigning for the approval of these bills. Cagampang-De Castro, being one of the older nominees was positive about her capacity to hold the Chief Justice office saying she’s healthy enough for the post. Bautista on the other hand, suggested limiting a CJ’s term to a few years so he won’t have to stay in office till his retirement or senior years (being one of the youngest). 

Jardeleza, who was once the counsel of giant corporation San Miguel was asked about his stand when it comes to the case against Luisita. Lastly, De Lima who is a crowd favorite was questioned about her interference with the temporary restraining order preventing former president GMA from leaving the country back in February of this year. If you can recall, De Lima sent officers to keep GMA footed within Philippine shores. De Lima defended her actions and said it did not defy the Supreme Court’s TRO and it was GMA’s party who were too eager to fly despite pending cases. De Lima may be disqualified as a nominee if pending cases against her disbarment are not resolved soon. 

Ask Questions

You may ask questions through social media sites Facebook and Twitter. The JBC Facebook page can be found by searching for “Judicialandbarcouncil Supremecourt” or simply this link - www.facebook.com/jbcl.supremecourt. You may also tweet “@SupremeCourtJBC.” 

The live public interviews will be completed by Friday, July 27, 2012. From which, 3-5 nominees will be shortlisted. But it's still the President's prerogative to choose. The nominees are down to 20 since two were disqualified by failing to submit requirements. See names above highlighted in red. 

Notes and Observations

As I’ve mentioned, I did not hear the entire interview for each nominee so my notes and observations were based on news clips and bits I’ve seen through news channels. Among all six nominees who were interviewed earlier today, Bautista seemed to have been the most confident and with the least personal interest involved. He was right with the thought of having an outsider inside the Supreme Court house in order to regain the public’s trust in this government office again. He also proposed a complete transparency within the SC’s grounds.

Among all nominees, De Lima is a public favorite. Her defiance of the TRO was positively supported by the common Juan and Juana. But her allegiance to Malacanang, however, would have you think twice. There may be a possibility that her decisions will be influenced by Pres. Noynoy Aquino. The same applies to Jardeleza. His previous connection with the Cojuangco’s through San Miguel may impact his judgment in relation to certain issues including that of the Luisita versus local farmer’s case. Legarda on the other hand may not become popular due to her stand on the issues mentioned above. Despite the pressing need for both divorce and the reproductive health bill, the Philippines remain a conservative country and may not completely succumb to these modern ideals.

As for the other nominees, although all of them are no doubt exceptional people who can definitely make a difference in the Philippine judiciary, but their interviews today did not place them in the limelight. Anyways, there are still 15 more nominees to go.

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