MALACAÑANG hits Supreme Court (SC) spokesman Midas Marquez on the continuing imposition of Executive Orders (EO) 2 and 3, saying he cannot dictate the Palace to stop the implementation of the directives.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Eduardo de Mesa said Marquez does not embody the entire High Court.
"With regards to the statement of SC through spokesman Midas Marquez, we believe it is not binding. Marquez is not the SC. The SC should issue temporary restraining order (TRO)," he said.
Marquez earlier appealed to Malacañang to exercise "judicial courtesy" in the implementation of EOs of President Benigno Aquino III while the SC is in process of deciding whether to issue a TRO or not.
De Mesa said Malacañang will only follow the SC if a TRO is formally issued.
The SC has ordered the Palace to comment on the case of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) director Eddie Tamondong and Justice Undersecretary Jose Arturo de Castro who are both affected by the two EOs, within 10 days before issuing a TRO.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, for his part, said they had ordered Solicitor General Joel Cadiz to coordinate with the SC since he will be the one to represent the government before the court.
Lacierda said they are conducting an ongoing review of those they suspected to be midnight appointees of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
All government agencies were ordered to submit list of all those who have been appointed on or before the two months ban on midnight appointments during the last national elections.
The SC has urged Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa to defend the legality of the EO since he was the one who signed it.
Lacierda also dismissed observations of some lawyers and legal experts, saying the EOs are quite "amateurish."
"It's a question of interpretation. We believe that the EOs will stand constitutional scrutiny and we respect their opinion but, at the end of the day, it will be decided by the Supreme Court," he said.
Lacierda noted that they have yet to fire more supposed midnight appointees.
Should they prove that certain officials violated the election ban, their fate will be dependent to the Cabinet secretaries, he said.
"We are verifying the reports of the antedated oaths of office. So it's a pretty long process-we want to be sure the requisite due process in that regard," Lacierda added. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)