PGMA can also appoint new SC associate justices

March 17, 2010 10:57 pm 

MANILA, March 17 — Aside from appointing the new Chief Justice to replace outgoing Chief Justice Reynato Puno, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also has the power to appoint the new Associate Justices of the Supreme Court (SC).

Chief Justice Puno will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 on May 17.

SC Spokesman and Court Administrator Atty. Jose Midas Marquez said that SC decision states that the appointment of new associate justices of the High Court by President Arroyo is also not covered by the election ban.

The election ban says that the President cannot make an appointment, except on temporary appointments in the Executive Department, two months or 60 days prior to the next succeeding presidential elections until the President's term ends.

By a majority vote of nine, the SC ruled that President Arroyo has the power to appoint the members of the Judiciary until her term ends on June 30, 2010.

The President has a period of 90 days from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy in the judiciary within which to make the appointment.

The vacancy will occur with the retirement of Puno on May 17, 2010 such that the leading contenders in the position of Chief Justice are also incumbent associate justices of the highest court of the land.

Among the leading nominees in the position of chief justice are Senior Associate Justice Renato Corona and Associate Justices Antonio Carpio and Conchita Carpio-Morales. (PNA)

V3/PTR

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