A GROUP monitoring the judicial system in the country on Wednesday expressed satisfaction on the public screening being conducted by the Judicial Bar and Council (JBC) on the lawyers vying for the post of two retiring Associate Justices of the Supreme Court.
"We are very happy with the session," Hustisya Natin national coordinator lawyer Marlon Manuel said in a press conference on Wednesday.
Hustisya Natin, a project funded by the European Union, aims to enhance the integrity of the justice system through transparency and improved performance.
According to Manuel, the group is pleased with the questions being raised by the JBC, including those about religious beliefs and prior decisions of the Supreme Court (SC).
"We have seen improvement in the quality of the interview. It is good that the candidates were asked about past decisions of the Supreme Court. It's important to know how the candidates will decide," Manuel said.
The lawyer further added: "It's good that all of these are coming out...You cannot be making decisions with your own religious standards. That must be secular in nature."
The JBC is expected to screen more nominees as eight more Associate Justice will be vacated in the next three years.
"We have to keep on putting the pressure on the JBC to do its job," Manuel said, adding that the most important step is not the President's appointment but the JBC's screening procedure.
"If the JBC submits quality names then the President will have to choose from the quality names," he said.
The group also urged the public to join them as they monitor the public screenings being conducted by the JBC.
"The JBC opens the screening. The public should take advantage of that opportunity," Manuel said.
The group also encouraged the public to submit questions to the council and make an "active search" for future nominees that will be sitting in the 15-man Tribunal. (Sunnex)