Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Of the 12 applicants for the Supreme Court post to be vacated by Justice Ruben T. Reyes in early January of next year, three of them are reportedly facing charges.

According to an inquirer report in its SC Appointment section, Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera is facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly benefiting from a questionable supervision of the Poro Point Special Economic Zone and Freeport Zone in San Fernando, La Union. The other two candidates with pending cases are former BIR Commissioner Jose Mario Buñag and Court of Appeals Justice Juan Enriquez.

It is important that appointees to the country's High Court be free of blemishes that cast doubt on their integrity and competence. The JBC should leave no stone unturned in making sure that whoever it recommends to the president for appointment should only be those with proven competence, integrity, probity and independence as required under Article VIII, Section 7(3) of the Constitution.

The JBC should strictly adhere to its rules of not recommending any applicant with pending criminal cases or, in case of incumbent members of the judiciary, those with administrative cases that are serious or grave that affects the fitness of the candidate.

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