Kim Henares: CJ post not attractive

Posted at 06/21/12 1:36 PM

Hints at declining nomination

MANILA, Philippines - Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares on Thursday hinted at possibly declining the nomination for Chief Justice, saying she and President Aquino share misgivings about her leaving the BIR.

Speaking to radio dzMM, Henares said she and President Aquino had already talked in passing about the possibility that she take over as head of the judiciary.

“Pahapyaw naming napag-usapan. Sayang yung naumpisahan na sa BIR, yun ang agam-agam naming dalawa. Ano kaya ang mangyayari sa BIR…,”she said.

“That is what the President is thinking of and that is what is stopping me,” she added.

In the interview, Henares said she is carefully weighing which position in government she would be most effective. The BIR chief has until July 2 to accept her nomination or it would be considered declined.

She said that as BIR chief, she is tasked with ensuring the collection of correct taxes so that the government has enough money to deliver basic services.

She also noted that her forte is really tax. "It seems that my whole life I was trained to be a tax person,” she said.

Not attractive post

Henares admitted that she is not attracted to the position of Chief Justice, or having the bragging rights of becoming the country’s first female Chief Justice.

She said she joined the government to serve the people by making its institutions work.

The only attraction that she sees in the Chief Justice position is the possible reforms she could institute in speeding up the justice system.

“Yung pagiging Chief Justice, hindi po attractive sa akin. Ang attraction ng pagiging Chief Justice ay yung challenge na mag-ayos, yung challenge na makatulong kasi sa tingin ko malaking kasalanan na ang isang kaso ay hindi na-re-resolve as soon as possible. Sa tingin ko, kalasanan na 10 taon na ang judicial dispute hindi pa sigurado kung ano ang desisyon,” she said.

“If not for that, I would have never even considered thinking about the position of Chief Justice,” she added.

Henares noted there is a golden opportunity to reform the judiciary following the removal of Chief Justice Renato Corona. She said anyone who is appointed to the position of Chief Justice should be not just a lawyer but a manager and psychologist.

“For me, it is not just because you’re young or old but it is really your intent, what’s in your heart and also the capacity and capability of the person. Since you need to do reforms, kailangan hindi ka lang lawyer, kailangan psychologist ka pa. Kailangan manager ka pa. You cannot institute reforms just by yourself. You have to be a psychologist and convince people to join the reform bandwagon. If not, it will not run,” she said.