Friday, January 04, 2008

The Chief Justice on the JBC

In my last post I discussed the secret records of the Judicial and Bar Council. Chief Justice Reynato Puno had a very terse and disappointing response to the issue: According to Newsbreak, he said, “I don’t mind telling the public how I vote. But it has to be a consensus [of the JBC].”

This is a very peculiar response, especially from the Chief Justice. The clamor for making the records to the public implicates more than the preferences of the members of the JBC; it implicates transparency and accountability of government officials. Instead of addressing the merits of the concerns, the Chief Justice—the Chair of the JBC—shrugs his shoulders and says the JBC refuses to make its records public so there is nothing he can do about it.

It would be a very dark day in public service if all our officials are as dismissive about transparency and accountability.

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