NBI to check CJ applicants' background

Posted at 06/01/12 7:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will look into the personal background of applicants and nominees for the position of the next Supreme Court chief justice, a Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) official said Friday.

The applicants and nominees will also undergo psychiatric and psychological exams for the first time in the history of the JBC's chief justice selection process, retired Justice Regino Hermosisima Jr. said.

Dean Amado Valdez of the University of the East College of Law was among those who once underwent assessment by the JBC.

He said applicants are also asked about their outlook on life and political ideology.

Hermosisima said in previous years, the JBC only used applicants' Bar rating and accomplishments as the major bases in their assessment.

Although the process will now be more thorough in the wake of the Renato Corona case, Hermosisima said the new methods that will used to select a new chief justice do not ensure that a similar case won't happen in the future.

The JBC, meanwhile, will ask several senior Supreme Court justices to inhibit from the chief justice selection process.

The council traditionally invites senior justices to take part in the process.

The senior associate justices who may take part in the selection process are Antonio Carpio, Presbitero Velasco, Teresita de Castro, Arturo Brion, and Diosdado Peralta.

Hermosisima, however, said the tradition may not be observed this time.

He said Carpio himself has hinted that he is willing to give up the position of JBC acting chairman if he is nominated as the next chief justice. - report from Henry Omaga Diaz, ABS-CBN News