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Aquino says he is not disrupting country’s democracy in supporting articles of impeachment vs. Corona

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Neither the country’s democracy nor the independence of the constitutionally-mandated government institutions are being compromised in the administration’s quest to effect changes in the Philippine justice system via the possible ouster of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Tuesday.

The President said he is not disrupting the country’s democracy with his decision to support the Articles of Impeachment passed by the House of Representatives last Monday against the controversial chief magistrate, contrary to the concerns expressed by various legal experts and constitutionalists.

Reports claimed that this early, legal experts and constitutionalists through their opinions, conveyed fears over the rapid turn of developments lately concerning the state of the Supreme Court, whose highest official will be facing an impeachment trial at the Senate anytime soon, and its effects to the country’s democratic processes.

“Ang pagsasalita pa lang nila ebidensya na siguro na hindi nadidiskaril ang ating demokrasya at bagkus buhay na buhay ang ating demokrasya. ‘Yung pagpapalitan ng kanilang opinyon, ‘di ba, may nagmumungkahi, mayroong kontra doon; ‘pag nag-dayalogo, nagkausap, mapapaganda nila ‘yung mungkahi ng nauna. So ‘yun lang po ang nangyayari sa ating proseso ngayon dito,” the President told reporters after speaking before a gathering of politicians at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City.

In his speech, President Aquino spelled out a number of reasons why they believe Chief Justice Corona is no longer fit to lead the Supreme Court, foremost of which is his strong association to former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who was his appointing authority.

“Sobra-sobra na po ang ebidensya; aasa pa ba tayong magbabago si Ginoong Corona? Naging kumbinsido po tayo na pagdating kay Ginang Arroyo, walang tama o maling kinikilala si Ginoong Corona,” the President said.

The President cited cases involving Arroyo herself, erstwhile Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, the League of Cities in the Philippines, the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines, and midnight appointee Bai Omera-Lucman of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, saying that the Supreme Court’s decisions over these matters brought grave implications to the country.

“Walang patutunguhan ang ating pagsisikap kung bago pa man tayo dumulog sa husgado ay kargado na pala ang timbangan. Malinaw po ang katotohanan: Si Ginoong Corona ay itinalaga sa Korte Suprema, hindi bilang alagad ng katarungan, kundi bilang alagad ni Ginang Arroyo,” he stressed.

“Ang lahat po ng ito ay malinaw na paglapastangan sa kapangyarihang kaloob sa kanya ng taumbayan. Dumadaan tayo ngayon sa isang proseso upang pigilan ang patuloy na pagdurog ng iisang pariwarang mahistrado sa sagradong institusyon ng Korte Suprema: isang institusyong inaasahan ng taong maging bukal ng katuwiran at sandigan ng patas at walang-kinikilingang katarungan. Hindi po tayo magpapamana sa susunod na salin-lahi ng isang Korte Supremang pugad ng katiwalian,” the President said further.

The President, moreover, doused cold water over doubts that any magistrate he will appoint to the Supreme Court, once the embattled Corona is formally ousted through the impeachment process, shall ever be beholden to him.

“Bakit hindi ninyo tingnan ‘yung mga na-appoint ko na? Mayroon bang beholden? Have they voted every time in our favor? Or perhaps even the perception of what I would have wanted as far as a decision is concerned? I think the justices themselves that I appointed will tell you,” he said.
President Aquino has so far only appointed three of the Supreme Court associate justices, namely Maria Lourdes Sereno, Bienvenido Reyes, and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

By PNA




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