MANILA -- Fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday presented two options supposedly to counter the impending appointment of the next Supreme Court (SC) chief justice by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Pamalakaya mentioned the following:

* extend the term of retiring Chief Justice Reynato Puno until June 30 and allow the next president to choose his successor from the shortlist coming from the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

* if Puno pursues retirement on May 17, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio should be the Acting Chief Justice from May 18 to June 30 or until the next president can choose among the shortlisted nominees.

Puno on March 18 designated Carpio as Acting Chief Justice after he decided to go on a “wellness and sabbatical leave” in Rome until the end of the Holy Week on April 4.

The group advised Arroyo to do the “most lawful, sensible, and objective action that suits to the national interest and collective will of the people.”

“The trouble with Mrs. Arroyo is her super obsession to stay in power beyond June 30, 2010 and hell bent in appointing a Chief Justice that will follow the doctrine of Malacanang,” the group said.

It also warned the next chief justice appointed by Arroyo will suffer credibility crisis and would be perceived “as puppet of a President with cruel intentions and sinister agenda against the people.”

“Arroyo's appointment or anything that suggests association with GMA is a kiss of death. The next SC Chief Justice who will be appointed by Mrs. Arroyo and who will accept the appointment of a criminal and brutal presidency will be condemned by the people and history,” Pamalakaya added.

Puno will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 on May 17, a full week after the first automated general elections. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)