Choosing the 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 country has launched the search for a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, after the one who had been occupying it departed from his post quite unceremoniously. The ouster of former Chief Justice Renato Corona came after 20 out of 23 Senators acting as judges in his impeachment trial, declare him guilty of the charges against him.
Corona assumed the office in a rather unorthodox way. Despite the law and tradition against the appointment of a Chief Justice close to, or right after the election of a new president, then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo took the chance of naming him, virtually at the stroke of midnight, when her successor had already been elected.
But that was not the reason for Corona’s impeachment. He was charged by members of the House of Representatives, was tried, and eventually found guilty and stripped of the office.
That is why the search now for the one who will succeed him has become a very difficult and challenging one. Who is this person, both now in the Supreme Court, or out of it, who can serve the office and live up to all the expectations of the citizenry from the one who holds the post?
The body that will assess the qualifications and the character of the person to be appointed is the Judicial and Bar Council, whose members are expected to find a man or woman who will be, like the wife of Julius Caesar, always be above suspicion.
As of the last count, there are already about a dozen nominees for the job. Let us all pray for the JBC members to be guided in their task so that they will come to nominate the one who will serve our quest for true justice best.*