Below is a scanned copy of the letter that we sent to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) last June 5, 2012.
June 4, 2012
JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL
2ND Floor, Centennial Building
Padre Faura, Manila
TO THE HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE JBC:
Hon. Antonio T. Carpio, Acting Ex-Officio Chairman
Hon. Leila M. de Lima, Ex Officio Member
Hon. Francis G. Escudero, Ex Officio Member
Hon. Niel C. Tupas, Jr., Ex Officio Member
Hon. Regino C. Hermosisima, Jr., Retired Sc Justice Representative
Hon. Jose V. Mejia, Academe Representative
Hon. Aurora Santiago Lagman, Private Sector Representative
Hon. Maria Milagros N. Fernan-Cayosa, Integrated Bar of the Philippines Representative
Re: Proposed Amendments to the JBC rules
In the recently concluded impeachment trial, we have seen how accountability has allowed the people to participate in governance and be involved in the change process. There is an obvious need to institute the necessary reforms in our justice system. As such, we should make the process of selection of the Chief Justice transparent. The appointment of our public officials is a matter of public interest. The Constitution guarantees our people the right to information on matters of public interest. No less than the Supreme Court has allowed the public disclosure of the Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALNs) of the justices of the High court, as well as the other judges and justices of the judiciary.
In view of the foregoing, I respectfully propose that with the exception of executive sessions dealing with matters that are confidential in nature, which shall be made available to the public only upon majority vote of the members of the Council present, the voting process for any judicial post in the Sandiganbayan, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court, or Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman, including all meetings and deliberations prior to the voting shall be open to the public.
Very truly yours,
KIKO N. PANGILINAN