The Next Chief Justice: JBC Live Public Interview Day 3

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1. Dean AMADO D. VALDEZ

MOST RECENT DISTINCTION/S:
- Dean, University of the East College of Law
- President, Philippine Association of Law Schools
- Anchor, Magpayo Nga Kayo (DZMM)
- Columnist, People's Tonight

PREVIOUS POSITIONS:
- OIC, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Affairs (2004)
- Executive Director, Visiting Forces Agreement (2003)
- Government corporate counsel (2001-2002)
- member, MWSS Board of Trustees (2001-2002)

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:
- graduated from UE College of law
- Master's degree in business economics, University of Asia and the Pacific
- Special studies in international business law, National University of Singapore, Asian Institute of Management


 

On reforms he wants: Valdez calls for establishment of 'integrity councils' and proposes mandatory legal aid service for judiciary members. The focus of the judiciary must be to partner with other gov't services.

On eyeing CJ post: Valdez denies eyeing CJ post when he appeared as analyst in #CJontrial coverage.

On nominees who are outsiders and insiders: "I don't consider myself an outsider. A lawyer is never an outsider of the legal system."

On Hacienda Luisita: It's not a question of distribution but of productivity. Will farmers be more productive owning lands?

On progress: Valdez believes strong law enforcement is key to economic growth

On aspiring lawyers: "Passing the Bar is tough work, a bragging right, but it is not a sad commentary to the legal system of PH. Every student who finishes law school can be a productive asset of the community whether he/she passes the Bar or not."

On being a role model:
We have to equip judges, inspire them, show leadership by example, underscore meaning of accountability.

On court fees: I think it is unconstitutional. I don't know why SC imposed that

On concept of justice: It's a question of right or wrong, always the high moral ground. Decisions must pass the moral test. You can't be a judicial activist on one hand and exercise judicial restraint on the other. You have to follow the mean.

Valdez says he'll stop working in media if appointed CJ

On what a UE lawyer is: Steeped in ethics. To us, the college of law is a finishing school.

On practicing law: "My inclination is not to allow foreigners to practice law in PH."

On court fees:
"High court fees affect access to justice, which should be given more premium. That is the essence of our democratic system."

Acting JBC chair Peralta to Valdez: Court fees ang nagpopondo sa Judiciary Development Fund; part of the fees also for employees.
Valdez says he is only calling for review of court fees to make justice more accessible to public.

Peralta grills Valdez on his proposal to give ranking to MTC, RTC judges. Valdez to Peralta: What's your counter-proposal?

Valdez apologizes if he offended some sensibilities. Peralta says, "para sa bayan, walang personalan."

2. SC Justice ANTONIO CARPIO

MOST RECENT DISTINCTION/S:
-Supreme Court Justice for 10 years now
-Appointed to the Supreme Court on Oct. 26, 2001
-Chairman, Senate Electoral Tribunal

PREVIOUS POSITIONS:
-Apponted Chief Pres'l Legal Counsel in 1992
-Member of the U.P. Board of Regents (1993-1998)
- Director of the Philippine Bar Association (1989-1990)
- Director of the U.P. Law Alumni Association (1984-1989)
- President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Pasay-Makati Chapter (1985-1986)
-Co-founded the Carpio Villaraza Cruz (CVC) and Associates law offices 1980

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:
-Placed 6th in the 1975 Bar Exams
-Valedictorian and Cum laude, UP College of Law, 1975
-Economics, Ateneo de Manila University, 1970





On insider vs. outsider nominees, seniority issue:  We have to follow the constitution, president has prerogative to choose from list submitted by JBC. There has been a tradition that CJ will be chosen from senior justices of SC.

On impeachment trial: Carpio denies scheming with Aquino to oust Corona, "I did not take Corona impeachment as an affront to judiciary."

Carpio to Tupas: You would know I'm not part of scheming because I never talked to you. (Laughter)

On efficiency of SC: The number one problem are the clogged dockets. We have instituted mediation and judicial dispute resolution. In pre-trial, we can still increase the resolution of cases. With more training of mediators and judges, we can be more efficient. We have also experimented with trial procedures where in lieu of direct testimony, you have affidavits. Through the simplified rules, we minimized motions to postpone and other dilatory tactics. It is time we expand it to all civil cases.    

On his voting records: I vow my independence, if I wanted to be CJ, then I wouldve voted for ChaCha

On Charter Change: I opposed Cha-Cha of FVR, constitution shouldn't be amended for one person - it should be enduring. Be assured I respect constitution.

Tupas:
Kung kayo si CJ Corona, ano ginawa nyo?
Carpio: If you're subject to impeachment, proceed in a dignified way.

Tupas: If you were Corona would you have resigned?
Carpio: If I misdeclared my SALN that way, I would've resigned.

On mediation fees: We have to train mediators and spend for that. We have mediation units in 80% of courts. All mediation fees paid by litigants go to funds for training of mediators.

On computer literacy of applicants: Computer literacy, like using word processor, is really important. Let us train judges to use word processors, it is essential. We have created a digital library that contains all laws of Ph, rules and regulations that are on file, etc. Let us train everyone how to use a computer.

On online case management system: Eventually, it will be a uniform system and there will be no problems on compatibility (of browser, type of media, etc).

On transparency in the age of internet: We still retain our confidentiality up to the time we make a decision. Once we make one, we post it on line. The drafts and discussions we circulate, however, should be confidential.

Carpio says JBC must develop pool of lawyers to verify submitted bank waivers.

On judges being late in hearings: The office of court administrator has to be tasked to monitor their performance. That would be the role of the forthcoming case management system, it will show the actual work, so judges cannot give excuses that they have so much cases. At a glance, you can see the aging of a judge, incidence he decided on that case, etc.

On being a Sigma Rho member: I voted for the dismissal of a member of fraternity at the Court of Appeals.

On SC's "old-boys club":  The decisions of the court will show that we are not a club. We have heated discussions, we have strongly worded dissents vs. each other, I don't see how we can be an old-boys club. During decisions, we fight very hard for our position. If we look friendly, it is because we have no choice. Your ally today in the case could be your enemy tomorrow. You have to be civil to each other. There are no permanent enemies, friends in court.

On budget: Judiciary's budget in terms of percentage in national budget has decreased.

On #CJonTrial "damaging" the judiciary: I am not prepared to go to that extent. The impeachment was directed at a particular justice. But, I don't deny that it has brought out problems about the judiciary, and we have to address them. Corona trial brought judiciary's problems to the fore.

Q: Did #CJontrial affect cordial relationship of judiciary to other gov't branches?
Carpio: I don't think so.

On the "face of the Carpio court": I would like the court to make the judiciary fair, honest, efficient. That would address issue of clogged dockets, corruption, fairness.

On bar exam: I am in favor of the five-strike rule. After five tries, maybe you should try something else. I say that because we have clerks of court who are not even law graduates. I think after 5 tries, work on something else and use legal learning. Not everyone can practice law, but they need not waste that learning.

On things he would not do: I will not misdeclare my SALN.

On what makes the law beautiful: I find the law in SC the best law that I can find. Here, you apply the law in its purest form.

Carpio plans to teach in UP College of Law or Ateneo de Davao after retirement.

3. SC Justice TERESITA LEONARDO-DE CASTRO

MOST RECENT DISTINCTION/S:
- SC Associate Justice since Dec. 3, 2007
- Worked towards easing the load of Sandiganbayan's docket
- Pushed for the establishment of the computerized case management system in Sandiganbayan
- Received Pres'l Medal of Merit by then Pres. Ramos in 1998 for serving as gov't panel's legal adviser  

PREVIOUS POSITIONS:
- Sandiganbayan's Presiding Justice, 2004
- Sandiganbayan Associate Justice, 1997
- Asst. Chief State Counsel, 1997
- SC legal & judicial assistant and technical staff from 1975 to 1978

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:
- Bachelor of Law, U.P., 1971, graduated at the top 4 of her class
-Bachelor of Arts cum laude, U.P, 1968



 

On clogged dockets: Docket congestion is the most serious problem of the judiciary.

On loyalty:
Public officials come & go, but institutions remain. We must be loyal to institutions.

On the job:  The judiciary is not for the weak of heart. I am ready for work if appointed to CJ post.

On speeding up cases:
In our meetings we discuss how to improve the administration of justice, the decongestion of prisons. More measures needed to speed up cases. Our judicial system is contributing to the delays in resolving cases.

4. Atty. CESAR L. VILLANUEVA

MOST RECENT DISTINCTION/S:
- Vied for an SC Justice post in 2008 and 2010
- Chairman, Commercial Law Department & member, Academic Council & Consultants' Group, Philippine Judicial Academy
- Certified Public Accountant
- Specializes in Philippine Commercial Law
- Head, Governance Commissions for GOCCs (GCG)
- member, Technical Panel for Legal Education of the Commission of Higher Education
- Fellow, Australian Institute on Company Directors (AICD)
- Fellow, Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD-Makati)

PREVIOUS POSITIONS:
- Dean, Ateneo Law School
- Legal Consultant, People's Television Network (1992-1999)
- Legal Consultant, Export Processing Zone Authority (1985-86)

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:
- Master of Laws, Harvard Law School, 1989
- 2nd in Philippine Bar Examinations, November 1981
- 6th in CPA Board Examinations, May 1982
- LL. B., valedictorian, cum laude (Ateneo de Manila Law School)
- B.S.C. in Accounting, magna cum laude, Holy Angel University, 1977





On SC reforms: The SC's education & training arm should be empowered.

On legal education:
I think by requiring MCLE providers a program to let students get better, upgraded courses, it would be more relevant. MCLE is the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education program for members of the IBP

On outsider nominees: Getting an outsider may be what the SC needs right now. I don't consider myself as an outsider.

On continuous learning: For judges seeking promotion, they should undergo training.

On his specialization: It's not true that by trying to become one of the leading minds of commercial law, one is ignorant of other fields.

On fraternities: I belong to one. One of the greatest challenges is whether I could live beyond frats and associations. If you're a frat brod, it doesn't necessarily become an advantage. Instead of trying to outlaw them, live with them. If there's great idea beyond frats, solution is to give [students] better choices [in extra-curricular activities]

On the role of the courts: It should be that only when there is a clear showing of abuse of discretion do the courts come in.

On corruption in the justice system: Corruption in the judiciary is so bad that there is a clear call for it (to be addressed). There has to be zero tolerance

Oh his top priorities if appointed CJ:
Unite SC, formulate a strategy roadmap and unclog dockets.

On Bar eams: NO to reducing of Bar subjects. They have undergone so much study. Legal ethics should be spread throughout. I think SC should stick to 5 attempts for Bar exam. [If you don't pass Bar exam after 5 tries] you'd be doing society a favor if you go to other fields where you'd shine.

On SC's budget: SC deserves a budget higher than the 1% it is getting.

On human rights: When it comes to fundamental rights, human rights, the SC must ensure that there is no derogation to people's rights.

On economic policies: SC must take a passive role (it's part of role of) executive and legislative departments.

On the role of the SC:
SC should take primary role of a Constitutional court. The SC shouldn't overburden itself with so many cases.

On judicial philosophy: An SC that serves primarily the needs of its country

On employees: It would help the judiciary if those who will join the ranks would be the best and brightest

On Sharia law (Islamic law): There is an important consideration given to make sure Sharia system develops. 

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<<< Go to Live Blog of Day 1

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