Patricia Denise Chiu
July 30, 2012
GMA News Online
Days after Congress pulled out of the JBC interviews, Senator Kiko Pangilinan suggested Monday that to avoid further questioning of the legitimacy of several members’ presence in the panel, ex officio members should instead let regular members decide on the shortlist of names for the CJ post.
“Maybe, maybe what should happen is allow the regular members to decide. Because after all there is a quorum,” Pangilinan said in an interview with GMA News TV’s News to Go. He suggested that this compromise could “diffuse tensions.”
“First we have to de-escalate the situation,” former JBC member and incumbent senator Pangilinan said. “Baka kinakailangan ma de-escalate by depoliticizing and removing all these issues,” he added.
Pangilinan said that in addition to letting the regular members decide, ex officio members should also inhibit. “Mag-inhibit na lang siguro, pending the resolution of this issue. Mag-inhibit na lang lahat ng mga representative na ex officio. Baka dun natin mabibigyan ng liwanag ‘yung mga gusot,” he said.
Lead prosecutor for the Corona impeachment trial Rep. Niel Tupas of the 5th district of Iloilo sat in three of the four days of interviews. Tupas was visibly absent on the last day, as members of the House and Senate allowed the Congress only one representative to the JBC.
Other than the single member from Congress, Pangilinan also said that the presence of Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta and Undersecretary Michael Frederick Musngi on the panel has also been questioned.
The Constitution mandates that the Chief Justice and the Justice Secretary be part of the panel, but both Acting CJ Antonio Carpio and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima are also nominated for the top SC post.
“Let us exhaust these four weeks to resolve the issue, and hindi ‘yung pe-pwersahin natin,” Pangilinan said.
He added that to participate in the process of creating the shortlist would be problematic.
“Bakit ka magpa-participate, eh kinekwestyon mo?” he asked.
“Nagkamali ‘yung ConCom [Constitutional Comission], ‘di ginawang dalawa. Dapat unicameral. Do you perpetuate that mistake, or do you correct it?” Pangilinan added.
In a press conference Friday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the JBC moved its deliberations to August 2.
She added the Palace does not expect a shortlist submitted on July 30.
UP law professor Rowena Daroy-Morales also reiterated that the issue should be resolved before the shortlist is submitted to the President, adding that any lack of clarity could be ground for another impeachment.
Morales also commended the media for its coverage. The week-long interview process was the first time the JBC allowed coverage of the selection process of the Chief Justice.
“It was not a circus. ‘Yung transparency na ‘yun, nakita natin nag-engage sa publiko,” Morales said.
She also explained that the coverage allowed the public to be more participative.
“Kaya tayo may pag-uusap na ganito, kaya napaka-dynamic ng democracy natin ngayon. I think we should give credit to the public and the media,” she said. –KG, GMA News
View original post on GMA News Online