Press Release
November 23, 2006


Senate Majority Leader Kiko Pangilinan today urged the public to actively observe the public hearing of candidates for the Chief Justice position which will be held on November 29, 2006 from 12:00pm to 6:00pm at the Supreme Court. The interviews are open to the public but TV coverage will not be allowed.

"We have strongly espoused making the interviews for the Chief Justice position open to the public because we believe in the need to execute a transparent selection process. As author of the amendment to the JBC Rules allowing for public interviews, we pushed to accommodate the public panel interview of all candidates. This is to ensure that we do not leave out the people in matters of public interest such as the appointment of officials in the judiciary. We do not wish to propagate the notion that the selection process is exclusive only to insiders. Now that we have moved one step forward in our bid for transparency, I urge the public to support and participate in the selection process," Kiko said.

Candidates for the next Chief Justice are Senior Associate Justice Reynato Puno, Associate Justices Leonardo Quisumbing, Antonio Carpio, Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

"Sovereignty lies in the people. All government authority emanates from our citizens. It is for this reason that we must guarantee their maximum participation in matters of governance," Kiko added.

The Majority Leader is an ex-officio member of the JBC which, under Article VIII Section 9 of the Constitution, is mandated to submit to the President at least three nominees for every vacancy in the Supreme Court or lower courts.

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