YOU of little faith, why do you always doubt our beloved President?
Listen. The Chief Justice, Reynato Puno, retires on May 17. Can you imagine what harm a headless Supreme Court can bring upon this country?
I agree with Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III. “The President is allowed to appoint the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court upon the occurrence of the vacancy.”
I subscribe to the wisdom of our President’s lawyer, Romulo Macalintal. “We cannot afford to have a vacuum in our Supreme Court. It will be no different from having no President, Speaker or Senate President…We can’t afford not to have a Chief Justice from May 17 to June 30.
I share Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga’s well-grounded opinion that concerns over the violation of a Constitutional provision if our President appoints a new Chief Justice during the prohibitive period are petty. “It’s too dangerous not to have a top man at the Supreme Court because the high court will be the one to provide stability during the transition when the leaders of the two other branches of government are being replaced.”
Yes, the Constitution does prohibit the President from making any appointments within two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of her term.
True, the Constitution does provide that any vacancy in the Supreme Court shall be filled within ninety days from the time such vacancy occurs.
Fine, the vacancy in the office of the Chief Justice does not occur until May 17. But does she have to follow everything that the Constitution says? Does she have to wait until Puno retires before she can name his replacement? Bello, Macalintal, Barzaga and even the Speaker of the House, Prospero Nograles say no, she doesn’t have to. And they’re right.
Doesn’t the spirit prevail over the letter of the law? When the President has noble intentions, and Bello, et al will swear at their mother’s graves that she is so, the Constitution is nothing but a mere scrap of paper.
We cannot afford not to let the President appoint the new Chief Justice. First of all, between May 17 and noon of June 30 is a long time. Second of all, we cannot trust the new President to have the same wisdom as the incumbent one in making choices.
Most of all, we cannot allow a rare chance to make history pass us by. Appointing all the 15 members of the Supreme Court is making history.
Have no fear. Trust our beloved President. Trust her minions. They never lied before, did they?