Press Release
July 29, 2012

Cayetano on CJ selection: Choose the best person for the job

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano stressed that the best person for the job must be selected as the next Chief Justice (CJ).

"I don't think it's a matter of choosing an insider or outsider. It's really a matter of who's best for the job. It's more of who's the perfect man or woman for the job," he said.

The senator noted that both options have their advantages.

"For the insiders, they already have the experience. They know the people and the process. For the outsiders, they can bring in fresh perspective," he said.

The minority leader stated that he is very happy with the current televised proceedings of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC)-helmed selection process.

"I was there when we started this. Actually, I was one of those who proposed that the interviews should be published. I'm even happier that now there is even media coverage. At least, the people will see. I think the President will somehow, someway be influenced by public opinion based on the interviews," he said.

He expressed his belief that due to this process, the selected Chief Justice will be a CJ of the people.

"Usually justices are not allowed to be close to the people because of the nature of their work. But because of these interviews, the people will get to know them more, " he said.

Cayetano also suggested that a formal set of criteria for the Chief Justice nomination process be crafted for future use.

He said the criteria might include academic performance, management skills or experience, history of transparency and accountability and so on.

"If you put together your own criteria then somehow you can use this to explain your choice to the people and eventually to the Malacanang when the shortlist is finalized," he said.

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