Elect judges, justices-A A +A
By Ben Emata
Friday, July 6, 2012
SINCE the very beginning of Philippine politics, judges and up to Supreme Court Justices are appointees by a higher up like the President of the Philippines or someone else. The lower courts judges are appointed by some people while the highest magistrates of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and other administrative institutions are appointed by the President of the country.
It is high time that our judiciary system should be overhauled. I mean, all judges from the Regional Trial Courts and to the ranks of the Justices should be elected by the people at large. In this way, these justices will be able to use their minds with full independence and free will. Handing down of decisions will be faster and more appropriate.
Judges will not be afraid to decide cases even if it hurts the chief executive or his protégées and supporters. There will be full responsibility on the part of the justices who are put to power by the will of the people. Appointing them is an old show that has lesser positive result in deciding cases. Judges think of the swords of Damocles that hang on their head.
In the United States and other countries, judges in the higher courts are elected by the general public. People choose their justices and nobody is appointed by anyone, much less the chief executive of the country. During elections, judges go out to campaign for votes for a certain position. In such way, judges hand down verdicts in their own free will regardless of who are the parties involved.
Justices will have clear minds and spirit in deciding cases. No pressure whatsoever from any sector, just free will, independence in thinking and everything. A justice is free to acquit or convict a person even if he or she is a relative of high ranking officials in the government.
Unlike in the present day when justices could hardly issue unfavorable orders or decision against people closely identified with the President.
There should be amendments to the Constitution or the law that determine the appointments of higher judges or justice of the high court. This issue should take effect the changes in the system and implementation of the old system. For sure, there will be beautiful changes that will result in such a plan. We have so much of unfavorable result in cases because of the old system where justices, at times, do not have freedom to decide cases.
The country is definitely growing, So many Filipinos have been added to our number of residents. Corruption sometimes plays an important role when so many people are involved since politics will always have its place in the forefront. And the power of the high ranking people, more particularly the chief executive, is put to use in such cases.
And once politics surface in its entirety, the justice system will be affected since people will use politics as a way of getting into their wishes. Surely, there will be a big difference if things are put in proper order like electing the judges and justices to have a more independence of the judiciary. It will definitely be beautiful to see things in straightforward manner.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 07, 2012.