Waiver not required?
THE Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) most likely will not require the country’s next Chief Justice to sign a waiver on bank accounts, according to an ex-officio member.
But former lead public prosecutor and Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., an ex-officio member of the JBC handling the selection of the President’s appointees in the Judiciary, was quick in saying that the next head of the Supreme Court should truthfully declare everything on his or her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).
“No need (for bank waiver). What he or she should do is to be honest and truthful in his SALN,” said Tupas, chairman of the House Committee on Justice.
Tupas, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero are the three ex-officio members of the JBC.
In a related development, Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, a lawyer, urged all sectors to stop all discussions about the necessity for public officials to sign a bank waiver, saying it could be used for persecution.
“It is about time that we put a stop to this waiver thing as this is akin to witch-hunting. If we keep on insisting that PNoy should sign a waiver, then, we might just as well ask everybody inthe government to sign the same. And what will prevent also other people to ask private individuals to sign waivers to determine if they are paying correct taxes? We will go back to the time of inquisition and to the McCarthy era. God forbid, our economy might collapse,” Batocabe explained.
Under the Constitution, the JBC is tasked to come up with a shortlist of three nominees for vacant positions in the Judiciary to be submitted to the President.
The JBC is scheduled to meet Monday to start the selection process for the replacement of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.