Press Release
July 25, 2012


As the Judicial and Bar Council interviews nominees to be the next chief justice, Senator Edgardo J. Angara said it should look beyond the political affiliations of candidates and focus instead on other qualifications.

"We ought not to stigmatize the person because of his relationship to the appointing power. If you review the appointment of chief justices in the country, many were political appointees but many of them turned out to be outstanding choices," Angara explained.

On Tuesday, the JBC started to grill the 22 nominees for the top judicial post vacated by Renato Corona after he was convicted by the Senate impeachment court. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima kicked off the series of interviews which will end on Friday.

Angara opined that the president may appoint an outsider, but pointed out that by tradition, the chief magistrate is selected among the 15 members of the Supreme Court.

"Political alliance, for me, is not a disqualification. It is, however, an advantage in favor of the president. Kasi kung ikaw ay kaibigan ng pangulo, hindi mo ipapahamak ang lider ng bansa. Hindi mo i-cocompromise ang presidente sa paggawa ng desisyon, 'di ba?" he added.

Angara, who was a lawyer for more than two decades before he became senator, stressed that whoever will be appointed must have wide experience in handling court cases and in dispensing justice.

"The next chief justice must be upright and above all visionary - a person who can see the problems of our country beyond his own tenure," he said.

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