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Chiz seeks nominations for CJ post from Visayas

By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
June 13, 2012

PASAY CITY  –  Sen. Chiz Escudero is encouraging the people from the Visayas to participate in the selection of the next Chief Justice by nominating candidates from the region they feel fit to occupy the top post in the Supreme Court.

Escudero, the Senate representative to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), said the search for the next chief magistrate is not limited to applicants and nominees from Luzon and from within the Supreme Court.

“The hunt for the next Chief Justice is an open season and is not limited to the Supreme Court justices. We need someone who is neutral and not identified with partisan groups. Applicants and nominees within and outside the highest court of the land are welcome as long as he or she is qualified, reputable and has a clean record,” Escudero said.

Under the existing JBC requirements, all court applicants must be Filipino citizens; possess proven competence, integrity, probity and independence and a member of the Philippine bar; at least 40 years old; and have been in the practice of law in the Philippines for at least 15 years.

In addition, aspirants for the top magistrate post are now required to submit a waiver on the confidentiality of bank deposits, income tax return (ITR) and the opening of the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), as a result of the proposal put forward by Escudero to the JBC following the conclusion of the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“He can apply or be nominated either by a group, by an individual, by a classmate, by a friend, by a relative. It doesn’t really matter for as long as after being nominated, he should manifest his intent to accept and he should manifest before the committee that he is accepting the nomination. We will be accepting applications and recommendations until June 18,” Escudero said.

Among the nominees outside the Supreme Court as of June 8 are former University of the Philippines law dean Raul Pangalangan, Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, family law expert Katrina Legarda, Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, dean emeritus of the Ateneo Law School Cesar Villanueva, and Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.

Five sitting magistrates of the Supreme Court – Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Arturo Brion and Diosdado Peralta – are automatically nominated for the top post by virtue of seniority.