Search for new chief justice starts

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 29 2012 10:56 PM | Updated as of May 30 2012 06:56 AM

MANILA, Philippines - After the Senate convicted Renato Corona on Tuesday, the process of looking for a new Supreme Court chief justice can begin, analysts said.

University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina said the Judicial and Bar Council can now come up with a list of nominees that will be submitted to President Benigno Aquino.

"We leave it to the sound discretion and judgment of the President," Divina said.

For De La Salle University political science Professor Ronald Holmes, however, if the Aquino administration is serious about its anti-corruption campaign, it should certify the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill as urgent.

"It's done but it's far from over," said Holmes, who is also Pulse Asia president.

"The impeachment is done but the campaign for the truly accountable, responsive transparent governance is really a long, long road. I don't know whether Congress would pass immediately a Freedom of Information Bill which is critical."

Political analyst Malou Tiquia also pointed out that Corona's impeachment trial has raised Filipinos' expectations of their government officials.

"The bar in terms of public servants has been increased," she said. "Bar in the sense that now, we expect you to be accountable and very transparent."

Healthy for democracy

Some business leaders, meanwhile, described the impeachment trial as healthy for democracy.

On ANC's Business Nightly, Makati Business Club chairman Ramon del Rosario said the verdict was a victory in government's battle against corruption.

"The reason why there's so much interest from investors abroad the main thing has changed is that we're serious about good governance, and fighting corruption, progress has been made," he explained. - reports from ANC