Press Release
December 16, 2008


To intensify the transparency campaign for the Judicial Bar Council (JBC) proceedings, Senator Chiz Escudero is calling all non-governmental organizations and interested parties to come forward and make known their positions with respect to the applicants and nominees in the council.

Escudero, senate representative to the JBC said groups and individuals can send and place their comments and inputs on the nominees they want and those they do not want to sit in any judicial post.

As the council now espouses an open-voting system, Escudero posed back the challenge among court watch groups to publicly get involved in judicial appointments by making known their preferences to help council members choose only the most deserving nominees in one of the country's sensitive and significant positions.

"The demand for transparency is a two-way street. It does not only emanate from us who sits in the council. It is but proper that third parties also make known their views, put their names on a particular applicant or nominee."

Escudero said the public should also be accountable in filtering the names of the nominees that will be finally submitted to the President.

"Accountability and transparency is demanded of our public officials. However, shouldn't the public be held accountable too in terms of putting the fit person to judiciary posts and weeding out the unworthy ones from the nominees list?"

The JBC, he said should remain a bastion of independence from political and outside influence, thus vigilance and active participation from the public should compliment council member's accountability in appointing members of the judiciary.

The senator said his office would welcome any inputs from the public. He said all comments and suggestions will be brought to the council for consideration in the selection process.

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