De Lima disowns ban on live broadcast of JBC interviews


Posted at Oct 18 2012 05:16 PM | Updated as of Oct 19 2012 04:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said she is puzzled by her colleagues’ decision in the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to go back to an old rule banning the live broadcast of the interviews of candidates for positions in the Supreme Court.

De Lima, who is vice chairperson of the body that vets names in the judiciary, washed her hands of the JBC’s decision.

"That's the decision of the JBC, although I was not part of the meeting when that was decided upon. I'm not privy to the discussions," she told reporters on Thursday.

She said she will ask the rationale behind the decision in the next JBC meeting. She was not there on Monday because she had to attend to a United Nations event in Switzerland.

The supposed move for transparency’s sake was scrapped after just one attempt at imposing it. In June, all the members of the JBC moved to approve the requests of groups such as the Transparency and Accountability Network to allow the live broadcast of the applicants for chief justice.

This was an indirect result of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was then appointed in August. As chief justice, she is also the chairman of the body that vets names for the judiciary.

"It was agreed upon by the JBC members in their meeting last October 1," JBC executive officer Anne Capacite told reporters on Wednesday.