MANILA, Philippines – Will Renato Corona’s replacement be a politician?
Sen Alan Peter Cayetano urged President Benigno Aquino III not to choose a politician to succeed Corona.
In the Kapihan sa Senado press forum on Thursday, May 31, Cayetano said it would be best for Aquino and the Judicial and Bar Council to choose candidates outside of politics.
“The problem with politicians is that we’re partisan. You know who our allies and supporters are. So what will happen is that from the very start, there will be doubt.”
Cayetano added that the process of removing Corona through impeachment was done ideally and Aquino should not undermine this by politicizing the selection of his replacement.
“Whatever taint of partisanship will not be best for the Supreme Court. Usually, good is okay, great is very good but for now, we need the best.” Watch here:
Politicians like Sen Franklin Drilon have been named in media reports as possible candidates for the post. Drilon, however, said he is not interested and prefers to continue being senator.
Cayetano said while Drilon and even Sen Francis Escudero are “good politicians,” his position remains the same.
“At this point in time, we need a healing and strengthening process that’s why I’d rather maybe somebody from the academe or who practiced law for 30 to 40 years who you cannot accuse of any dirty practices.”
Angara: Nothing wrong with politicians
For Sen Edgardo Angara, though, politicians can make good Supreme Court chief justices.
In the same media forum, Angara said Drilon, Escudero and even Cayetano are qualified for the post.
“One of the best chief justices in the [US] Supreme Court was not a career lawyer or a career judge. He was a politician, Gov Earl Warren of California,” said Angara.
“He’s considered the best of so many chief justices …. Why? It’s because of his experience being a governor of California, his training as a lawyer, although he didn’t practice, and because of his vision above all.”
He added that Drilon’s ties to Aquino should not be taken against him because many politicians appointed as chief justice in the Philippines and US became excellent leaders.
Politician or not, Angara said what is important is that the next chief justice have wisdom and uprightness.
The senator said Aquino can also opt to follow his mother.
“By tradition, you either appoint the most senior [justice] or you do it deep selection and appoint someone else like in the case of Chief Justice [Claudio] Teehankee. It was a deep selection made by President Cory. He jumped above many senior [justices] above him but he turned out to be an outstanding chief justice.”
Angara and Cayetano were among 20 senators who voted to convict Corona on Tuesday, May 29, after a 4-month long impeachment trial.
The decision led to his removal from office, starting the process of choosing his replacement. – Rappler.com