Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Learn from CJ Panganiban

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. All that the JBC needs to do is to look at the process implemented by the JBC under the leadership of then CJ Panganiban. Under his leadership, the JBC was able to reduce the vacancy in the judiciary to 16 percent from a high of 32 percent.Today it is back to 25 percent. Instead of pushing on to bring the vacancy to single digit levels, the process regressed under succeeding chief justices and hence the vacancy rate ballooned back to unacceptable levels.

The workshop should review the minutes of previous JBC meetings held during CJ Panganiban's time. Here they will discover that at one point the JBC interviewed up to thirty applicants daily for a period of four months, thereby speeding up the nomination process tremendoulsy. If we, in the JBC, were able to reduce the vacancy rates from 32 percent to 16 percent then, there is no reason why the JBC cannot do it now. We slashed the vacancies in half. The JBC today should be able to accomplish this and more. The target should be to reduce the vacancy rate to single digits in a year's time. This will require an aggressive recruitement effort where the JBC goes to the provinces to urge lawyers to take on the challenge of public service.

CJ Sereno who is young and energetic should lead the charge and undertake an all encompassing search for the best and the brigtest to join the judiciary and help in putting in place the reforms it so urgently needs.

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