Palace arrogant – SC spokesman

Chief Justice Renato Corona

Chief Justice Renato Corona

MANILA — Another word war is heating up between the spokesmen for Malacañang and the Supreme Court (SC).

Reacting to a salvo from the Aquino administration, SC spokesman Jose Midas Marquez on Wednesday told the Palace “not to be too presumptuous and arrogant.”

Marquez made the statement a day after Malacañang announced that it was looking for the replacement of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“Let’s not be too presumptuous. Let’s not be too arrogant. We should exercise a degree of humility,” he said.

Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda has said that President Benigno 3rd Aquino was scouting for a person of integrity and probity such as SC Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Sereno, an appointee of President Aquino, allegedly is the most hated justice in the High Tribunal, a reputation that she earned after her peers noted her apparent delaying of release of her dissenting opinions.

Lacierda said that the President has asked his legal advisers to come up with a list of possible nominees for Chief Justice, with Corona facing an impeachment trial by the Senate in January next year.

Marquez asserted that the Chief Justice post is not vacant, saying, “The impeachment process is about to start only next month.”

Besides, he said, Malacañang has no authority to screen possible applicants to the judiciary.

Marquez explained that while Aquino has the power under the Constitution to appoint members of the judiciary, it is the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) under the Constitution that has the authority to screen applicants to the judiciary and the Ombudsman post.

“The authority to screen is with the JBC,” he said.

The 1987 Constitution, under Article 8 Section 8(5, states that the council “shall have the principal function of recommending appointees to the judiciary.”

Section 9 provides, “The members of the Supreme Court and judges of the lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation.”

“Let us wait for the impeachment court to rule on the impeachment complaint [first],” Marquez said.

Leave a Reply