Loren urges GMA: Inhibit self from appointing SC chiefJanuary 13, 2010
SEN. LOREN LEGARDA APPEALED YESTERDAY TO PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO TO INHIBIT HERSELF FROM APPOINTING THE NEXT CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT “IN ORDER NOT TO COMPROMISE THE INTEGRITY OF THE ENTIRE COURT.”
“I know that some allies of the President are insisting that she has the power to appoint the next chief justice of the Supreme Court, but I urge her, not just out of delicadeza, but out of love for our country, to inhibit herself from appointing the next chief justice after the present chief justice, Reynato Puno, retires.”
Loren observed that the retirement of Chief Justice Puno on May 17 would come after the holding of the May 10 elections when the new president of the Republic of the Philippines would already have been elected, but not yet inducted into office. The term of the incumbent President ends at noon of June 30, when the new President takes his oath of office.
“However,” according to Loren, “after the elections, the President would be holding office only in holdover capacity. While she may still assume in full the powers of the presidency, her appointments thereafter would be considered midnight appointments, which may be placed under a legal cloud of doubt.”
Loren said that as Mrs. Arroyo winds up her term as President, covering an unprecedented ten years, “she might like to make a gesture of magnanimity and selflessness that would provide an example to succeeding chief executives, and would help redeem her administration that has suffered many years of low popularity ratings.”
“But if the President chooses to wield to very end some questionable powers, she would leave behind a weightier legacy of resentment and regret among our people,” Loren concluded.