Diokno: Poor identify law with 'naked power'
MANILA, Philippines - Justice is not a lofty ideal. It ought to be concrete, something that Filipinos should feel "in their hands."
Pushing for judicial activism in the face of what he described as antiquated and inaccessible rules, lawyer and professor Jose Manuel Diokno faced the Judicial and Bar Council on Day One of the public interviews of nominees for chief justice.
Current dean of the De La Salle University College Law, Diokno was asked about his judicial philosophy as well as his views on access to justice, human rights, and the composition of the JBC. Diokno was the 4th nominee to be interviewed Tuesday, July 24.
He said the JBC should include non-lawyers as members because the council's decisions affect other sectors of society. "Everyone has a stake in the judicial system," he said.
Asked about his concept of justice, Diokno said, "Something concrete, something people see happening in reality and not just a lofty ideal. It is something they can feel in their hands."
Asked how he would describe himself as a lawyer, Diokno conceded he would be a judicial activist given the absence of a proper legal framework that can make justice accessible to the poor. As a judicial activist, he considers the Constitution as a "living document," Diokno said.
"We cannot just sit back and take a conservative attitude that would not benefit the people we are here to serve," he explained, adding that judicial activism must cater to society's most vulnerable sectors.
On his legacy if ever he gets appoined chief justice, Diokno said he would want to be remembered as a justice who improved the legal system for the majority of Filipinos. "Law and justice are two separate concepts for the poor. The poor identify the law with naked power. Justice is like a dream. We should put justice in the law."
It was Diokno's second appearance before the JBC. Last year he was nominated for the position of SC associate justice but was not chosen.
The JBC is interviewing 22 nominees for chief justice. The public interviews will last until Friday, July 27. - Rappler.com
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- JBC to interview CJ candidates starting July 24
- 25 accept nominations for chief justice
- Questions for chief justice candidates
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- Besides JBC, Palace has judicial search committee
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