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by PNA

The Aquino administration welcomed the decision of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to extend the period for accepting nominations for the next Chief Justice, saying the council's move will pave the way "for the broadest public participation and the widest possible pool of candidates."

"The extension of the period of nomination will allow the public, civil society, academe, and others to have time to nominate individuals for consideration. What is at stake at the end of this exercise is for the JBC to present a list of meritorious nominees for the consideration of President Aquino," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement issued on Monday.

The JBC decided to extend the submission of nomination for the position of Chief Justice until July 2. The original deadline for the nomination is today, June 18.

"This should be a landmark moment in our collective effort to achieve judicial reform. As the recent decision of the Supreme Court indicates, a new era of transparency and accountability is dawning in the judiciary," Lacierda said.

Malacanang earlier lauded the High Tribunal for its decision to post on its website the budget accountability reports of the Supreme Court and the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

"The disclosure of personal SALNs (statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth) and the financial operations of the Supreme Court, including its use of various funds, will already help the administration determine the proper budgetary support for a re-energized Supreme Court," Lacierda said.

The Chief Justice post is presently vacant after the Senate, sitting as an Impeachment Court, removed Chief Justice Renato Corona last May.

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