This afternoon (7-24-12), the Judicial and Bar Council started its interview with the first batch of candidates to the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. And one of them particularly interested me with her answers. Yes, she’s a lady lawyer, Atty. Katrina Legarda, who was very instrumental in the conviction of an ex-congressman rapist.
Most of her 32-year practice of law has been devoted to family relations and child protection. She was founding chair of the Child Protection Network which has branch offices abroad. Children have special place in her heart. She says: “Even in cases involving separation of couples, I always consider the welfare of the child who has no choice how to be born.”
Legarda also said that she was open to sex education and divorce, pointing out that the Philippines is the only country without a divorce law.
“Even Malta has a divorce law,” Legarda said, referring to the tiny Catholic country in the Mediterranean.
She said that married couples should have an escape mechanism should their marriages fail, adding that even the Supreme Court had become apologetic in rejecting appeals to dissolve marriages.
“These couples are going to be married and there is no escape except death. I always tell men who batter their wives not to close their eyes when they sleep because the Supreme Court (in a decision) has allowed her to kill you in self defense,” Legarda said.
She was referring to a Supreme Court ruling which recognized the battered women syndrome as a plausible defense of women who kill their husbands.
If chosen as the next Chief Justice, Legarda said she would push for the full implementation of the Family Courts Act and not simply designate regional trial courts as family courts.
Asked how can she help build the tarnished image of the judiciary in the impeachment of Corona, she says: “The face of the Judge is the face of the Court. Whatever he/she does portrays the entire image of the judiciary (whether he/she likes it or not).”
And how hoes she likes to be remembered? “As someone who was always fair.”
Good luck Atty. Katrina Legarda. If I were PNoy I will have the first lady Chief Justice in you.