next Chief Justice
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The Judicial and Bar Council, the body tasked to vet the candidates for the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of this country, began interviewing the aspirants yesterday.
For the first time in our history, the encounter between the JBC and the nominees for the post was allowed to be covered by the media. This was made possible by television, where everyone interested in the proceedings – and the results – could watch and listen, wherever one happens to be.
This is an innovation that is indeed, called for at this time. We have just gone through the traumatic experience of ousting a Chief Justice who was not only perceived, but later judged to be unworthy of the office. The fact that the JBC is questioning and hearing the responses and reactions of those being grilled before the entire country, makes us all participants, veritably, in the process.
In the past, we had no inkling of how the Chief Justice, and the rest of the justices, for that matter, had been chosen, Whether they, too, had gone through a similar test from the JBC, and whether they have proved themselves deserving by the way they had answered the questions posed to them satisfactorily, is something that the interested citizenry can actually determine.
So far, seven candidates have already been interviewed by the Council, the members of which try to keep their opinions or reactions to themselves, as they prepare to take on the next batches in the ensuing days.
We do not expect the JBC members to act like Devil’s Advocates as they try to assess the qualifications and the suitability of the candidates’ personality and character for the position. But we can help them to eventually make the right choice by praying for them, that they may be granted the discernment and wisdom to pick the right person for this position. The trauma of the experience with the last one has hurt so much the image of our judiciary that we need someone who cannot only steer our highest Court capably, but can also restore its image for us and the world to see.*