Chiz: JBC must convene soon to avoid vacuum in the Supreme Court

The Judicial and Bar Council must convene soon to avoid a vacuum in the Supreme Court with the removal of Chief Justice Renato Corona, Senator Chiz Escudero today said.

Escudero, Senate representative to the JBC said he will ask the council to immediately convene and issue a memorandum to send notice of vacancy in the chief justice position and to open the position for applications and nominations.

The senator said the Constitution provides that "any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof".

"The law always abhors a vacuum. Not because the SC lost its Chief Justice, we stop functioning as a council. We need to continue with our works as usual and part of it is to immediately look for someone to fill the vacancy in the highest court".

Escudero openly said he wants to see an outsider to replace the former chief justice and is hoping the president would also choose to appoint someone not in any way identified to him or any particular group.

"I am hoping that the vetting will be from the outside circle of the President's official family, friends and the current Supreme Court composition so that we strictly adhere to the new leaf we all are looking forward to. The nation has been heavily divided with the recent impeachment exercise, it's time for all of us to work for healing, reconciliation so we can already move on and move forward" Escudero said.

As the JBC convenes, Escudero will move to require all applicants and nominees to execute a waiver on bank secrecy and their SALN in favor of the JBC so that it can be opened anytime, if necessary.

'As I have said in my explanation of vote yesterday, from now on, we should measure everyone aspiring to join the government with the measure we used with former CJ Corona".

PNoy to visit United Kingdom on June 4-6

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced today that President Benigno S. Aquino III will undertake an official visit to London, United Kingdom as “guest of the UK government” on June 4-6.
It will be President Aquino’s first visit to the United Kingdom as President of the Philippines.  The UK is also the only country in Europe that President Aquino is scheduled to visit this year.
President Aquino will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street where the two leaders will be discussing Philippine-UK political and economic cooperation, the UK’s participation in the International Contact Group (ICG), regional and international issues, and anti-corruption and good governance practices of both the Philippine and UK Governments.
While in London, President Aquino will also meet with several top British investors, take part in the Philippine fun tourism campaign of the Department of Tourism and meet with the Filipino community in the UK, the largest in Europe.
The Philippines and the United Kingdom established formal diplomatic relations on July 4, 1946. The UK is one of the Philippines’ top European investors, the 23rd trading partner, the biggest tourism market in Europe and host to the biggest number of Filipinos in Europe.