DAGUPAN CITY -- Representative (Pangasinan, fourth district) Jose de Venecia Jr. issued Friday a statement in reaction to the appointment of the next chief justice.

“If President Arroyo wants to leave down into history as a morally upright president, in spite of this semi-authorization that the Supreme Court (SC) gives her, set an example for history and show that she is not fooling around with provisions of the Constitution,” he said.

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Last Wednesday, the SC justices gave President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the nod to appoint the replacement of Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who is set to retire on May 17.

“She (Arroyo) should say I have been given this choice, I will not exercise it. I will leave it to the new president. My God, she will be terrific if she does that. And I sincerely propose that she does,” said de Venecia.

He further said the High Court should also set an example by saying “let's leave this to the new president to remove this issue from suspicion and from unnecessary critical comments.”

He said it is a question of whether the decision to let the President appoint the next chief justice is correct or wrong.

“The Constitution is very clear that an announcement cannot be made,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, De Venecia expressed admiration to Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Jesus Verzosa for his demeanor relative to the different reactions to the absence of Arroyo in the recent graduation rites of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA).

“As the French would say, Chapeau! I take off my hat to General Verzosa,” de Venecia remarked.

“You have to salute General Verzosa because that is the way an officer and a gentleman, and a disciplined head of the anti-crime unit in the country should stay, that is above or beyond politics. He has set a good example for the more than 100,000 policemen and policewomen all over the Philippines,” he said.