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PNoy hits Supreme Court in front of SC Chief Justice Renato Corona, draws mixed reactions

By on Dec 6, 2011 in Asia, Local, Politics Comments

Updated: December 12, 2011 9:45 p.m.

Read SC Chief Justice Renato Corona impeached by House, Senate to start impeachment trial in 2012

Manila, PhilippinesPresident Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III (PNoy) hit the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday, December 5, 2011, in front of SC Chief Justice Renato Corona himself.



SC Chief Justice Renato Corona (left), shaking
hands with PNoy, with Senate President Juan
Ponce Enrile standing in the middle

Image Credit: Rem Zamora/ABS-CBNNews.com

As noted at local news sites that day, both PNoy and SC Chief Justice Renato Corona were present during the 1st National Criminal Justice Summit held at the Manila Hotel.

During his speech, PNoy lambasted the Supreme Court in which the SC Chief Justice was sitting only a few inches away, along with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima, among others.

On the first part of his speech, the 51-year old bachelor president said he wanted justice for Filipinos and noted that he does not want what happened during Martial Law years of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

But later, he mentioned some of the allegations of corruption against former President and now incumbent Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo including the controversial ZTE deal, and the alleged fraud during the 2004 and 2007 election.

Nevertheless, the highlight of his speech came upon when he questioned the Supreme Court and mentioned SC Chief Justice Renato Corona as being appointed by Mrs. Arroyo, which he noted as a ‘midnight appointee’.

After the event, mixed reactions were raised and some politicians including House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman, who described PNoy‘s speech as “Recidivist”, while some are worried about the increasing gap between the two top branches of the government.

In a statement read by SC spokesman Jose Midas Marquez also after the event, he noted that the high court found it “quite disturbing”. Chief Justice Corona was also interviewed but told reporters to let it be since Christmas is getting near.

Below is that part of the speech of President Noynoy Aquino (PNoy), where he hit the Supreme Court as well as SC Chief Justice Renato Corona, whom the president shook hands later.

Pansinin po ninyo: Nang naglabas ng TRO ang Korte Suprema, may kaakibat itong mga kondisyon. Subalit hindi nagtagal, sila mismo ang umaming hindi naman pala kailangang tuparin ang mga alituntuning ito. Aba, e naglagay ka pa ng patakaran; wala ka naman palang balak na masunod ito. Lahat na ng proseso ay sinusunod natin, ngunit sa kabila nito, tayo pa daw ngayon ang naghahanap ng away. Sino ba naman ang hindi magdududa sa tunay nilang hangarin?

Hindi ito ang unang beses na gumawa ang Korte Suprema ng mga desisyong napakahirap unawain. Ayon sa article 7, section 15 ng Saligang batas, “Ang isang Pangulo ay hindi dapat gumawa ng mga paghirang sa loob ng dalawang buwan bago sumapit ang susunod na halalang pampanguluhan at hanggang sa matapos ang kanyang taning ng panunungkulan, maliban na lamang sa mga pansamantalang paghirang sa mga katungkulang ehekutibo.” Ngunit alam naman po nating pinilit ni Ginang Arroyo na magtalaga pa rin ng Chief Justice. Hinirang siya, hindi dalawang buwan bago ang halalan, kundi isang linggo matapos ang eleksiyon. Base sa batas at sa dati nilang pasya, sumangayon ang Korte Suprema na bawal magtalaga ng pwesto dalawang buwan bago sumapit ang susunod na eleksyon, maliban na lamang kung ito ay pansamantalang posisyon sa ehekutibo. Ngunit bumaliktad sila nang italaga ni Ginang Arroyo, ating kagalang-galang, na Chief Justice Renato Corona: isang pwestong hindi saklaw ng ehekutibo, kundi sa hudikatura. Ang tanong ngayon: lumabag ba ang Korte Suprema sa pagbabaliktad ng dating pag-unawa ng ating Saligang Batas?

As translated in English language:

(Also, note this: The Supreme Court handed down the TRO together with certain conditions. But not long after that, they themselves admitted that the conditions need not be met for the TRO to be in effect. How baffling of them to include conditions they had no plans of seeing fulfilled. We have been following all the right processes, and still we are being accused of picking a fight. May I ask: who in their right mind would not be suspicious of their true intent?

This is not the first time we were perplexed by a ruling of the Supreme Court. According to Article 7, Section 15 of the Constitution, “Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.” But we all know how Mrs. Arroyo insisted on appointing the Chief Justice. He was appointed, not two months before the election, but a week after. According to the law and one of their previous decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that the President could not appoint any official two months before an election, except for temporary appointments to the executive position. But they turned their back on their pronouncements when Mrs. Arroyo appointed the Honorable Chief Justice Renato Corona—in a position that was not in the executive branch, but of the judiciary. The question now is: is the Supreme Court in violation of the Constitution?)

On the latter part, PNoy said he remains respectful of the separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive branches and emphasized he meant no harm to destroy anyone’s reputation, but reminded everyone of the basic principles of democracy.

The full transcript of the speech of President Noynoy Aquino can be found at the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, at www.gov.ph.



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