Palace won’t influence JBC on Leonen

By Jorge Carino, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 29 2012 04:07 PM | Updated as of Oct 30 2012 04:29 PM

MANILA - Malacañang will leave it to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) if former UP law dean Marvic Leonen, the government's chief negotiator for peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), should be included in the shortlist of candidates for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Monday that there is no discussion yet in the Palace whether Leonen will be appointed to the High Court.

But in the briefing, Lacierda told reporters that government is willing to have anyone in the negotiations with the MILF, in case Leonen gets the appointment.

"He is the face of the Peace Panel, that is admitted. But we have also dealt with other peace panel members and they are very knowledgeable with the issues" said Lacierda.

He said all the panel members have been present in all the negotiations and are familiar with the details, concerns and problems in the negotiations.

The spokesman said the negotiations will not hinge on the possible appointment of Leonen in the Supreme Court since the law requires the JBC to come up with recommendations by November.

The calendar will coincide with the meeting of the peace panels of government and MILF in November to discuss the Annexes, after the signing of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement.