Binay: Next CJ must also be a good manager

By Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 05 2012 12:39 PM | Updated as of Jun 06 2012 12:37 AM

Says PNoy can also tap 'legal luminaries' from academe

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) – Vice-President Jejomary Binay is batting for an apolitical chief justice who has "judicial maturity" and "administrative capability."

Speaking for the first time on the successor to deposed Chief Justice Renato Corona, Binay said on Tuesday it is not enough that the next head of the judiciary should have "judicial maturity," especially when handling cases before the high court.

He or she must also have administrative skills in overseeing an independent branch of government, Binay said.

“Sana ang mapiling Chief Justice ay may naiintindihan sa administrative position. Baka akala ninyo ang Chief Justice ay kaso-kaso lang. Ang Chief Justice, department head yan. Kailangan may pinagdaanan iyong magiging Chief Justice,” he said.
“Ang Supreme Court Justice, ‘yan ang administrative officer ng lahat ng hukuman. May mga pondo iyang hinahawakan, maraming under sa kanya kaya importante mayroong administrative experience sa Judiciary."

Binay said it might be a good idea to get a chief justice from the academe, citing previous appointments such as Justice Florentino Feliciano.

When he was still a law student at the UP College of Law, he said many of his teachers were legal luminaries who later served as chief justice.

'Landmine' question

The Office of the vice-President also clarified that when Binay was asked about his thoughts on acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, the vice-president described the question, not Carpio, as a "landmine."

In a press statement, the OVP said: "While jokingly referring to the question about the non-inclusion of acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio in his list as a 'landmine,' Binay said in fairness to Carpio, he is the second most senior justice but there have been cases when the next in rank was not selected as the new Chief Justice."
“Supposedly number two siya sa ranking. Iyon nga lang, may mga pagkakataon na hindi nasusunod iyan. Natatandaan ko noong kay Justice [Art] Panganiban, hindi naman siya ang number two noong ma-appoint siya. Marami namang magagaling na justices kahit way, way back pa,” Binay said.

Binay was earlier quoted as having referred to a possible appointment of Carpio as chief justice as a "landmine." 

The Binay connection?

Corona had accused Carpio of conspiring with Malacañang to push for his impeachment and ouster. He said Carpio had long wanted to be appointed chief justice.

Former Arroyo spokesperson Rigoberto Tiglao earlier claimed in his column that Binay was the real target of the Corona impeachment trial. He cited a source who said that appointing Carpio as chief justice could affect a pending electoral protest filed by Mar Roxas against the vice-president.

Avelino Cruz was the head of Mar Roxas' legal team called Bantay Balota during the 2010 elections.

Cruz is the co-founder of CVC law together with Pancho Villaraza and Antonio Carpio.

3 Pinoys spared death penalty

Binay arrived from Kuala Lumpur and the US on Tuesday. He said the Malaysian government has spared three Filipinos from the death sentence.

Another Filipino, Eliza San Gabriel, was also sentenced to death for drug smuggling in Malaysia. She is now receiving assistance in filing her appeal before the proper court there.

The Vice-President said the newly-formed United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) coalition will be meeting next week to thresh out rules on no coalition with other political parties.