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The Next Chief Justice

JBC allows live coverage of interviews for SC justice post

October 22, 2012 2:04pm

The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on Monday backed out of its plan to disallow live media coverage of the panel interview on applicants vying for the associate justice post in the Supreme Court.
“Now, with the meeting today, it was unanimously approved that we will revert [to] the rule of allowing media coverage subject to the same rules,” JBC member Jose Mejia told reporters on Monday.
Live media coverage of the public interview was earlier disallowed by the council.
“There was an impression pala na there is no longer an interest to cover kasi there was no request,” Mejia noted. “But we are also saying that maybe [the media] assume [that] the same rules will be applied.”
The guidelines for the live coverage can be accessed here.
“Siguro nagkaroon lang ng kaunting misunderstanding [and] lack of communication [between JBC and media outlets],” Mejia said.
Answering the public’s clamor for more transparency in the high court following the ouster of Renato Corona as chief justice last May, the JBC — the body tasked to screen and vet nominees for vacant posts in the judiciary — aired live on television, web and radio the public interview of those vying for the chief justice post.
The associate justice post was vacated when Ma. Lourdes Sereno was appointed to replace Corona last August 24.
In accordance with the rules, President Benigno Aquino III has 90 days from the Sereno’s appointment to pick a new associate justice that will complete the 15-member Supreme Court roster.
The next associate justice will be Aquino’s fourth appointee in the Supreme Court after Sereno, Associate Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Bienvenido Reyes.
The 15 applicants for the post, to be interviewed on Tuesday, are:

•   Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Ramon M. Bato, Jr.,
•   former University of Perpetual Help System Law Dean Jose-Santos B. Bisquera,
•   CA Associate Justice Rosemari D. Carandang, and
•   Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Maria Cristina J. Cornejo
Meanwhile, scheduled for interview on Thursday are:

•   former RTC Judge Adoracion P. Cruz-Avisado,
•   CA Associate Justice Magdangal M. De Leon,
•   CA Associate Justice Isaias P. Dicdican,
•   former University of the Philippines Law Dean Marvic M. Leonen,
•   former Department of Energy Secretary Raphael Perpetuo M. Lotilla,
•   CA Presiding Justice Andres B. Reyes, Jr.,
•   CA Associate Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr., and
•   CA Associate Justice Noel G. Tijam
Three candidates — De La Salle University Law Dean Jose Manuel I. Diokno, Securities and Exchange Commission chair Teresita J. Herbosa, and former Ateneo Law Dean Cesar L. Villanueva — will no longer be interviewed since they had already been interviewed in July 2012 when they were vying for the chief justice post, the JBC said. Rouchelle Dinglasan/KBK, GMA News
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