Malacanang respects SC ruling on Chief Justice appointment

March 18, 2010 10:14 pm 

MANILA, March 18 — Presidential Spokesperson Ricardo Saludo on Thursday said Malacanang welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) on the issue of the appointment of a new Chief Justice, adding that the moment the issue has been decided with finality, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is expected to discharge her constitutional duty.

Saludo also said that had SC ruled on the case the other way around, Malacanang will respect the decision, the Court being the ultimate authority, he said, to decide on such questions.

“We will comply with it. That is the rule of law, ” Saludo stressed during a media briefing in Malacanang.

He said that critics and those not satisfied with the outcome of the SC appointment case, can always file a motion for reconsideration to seek further clarification from the High Tribunal.

Meanwhile, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Gary Olivar in a statement called on political quarters especially the opposition to respect the SC decision rather that convert issues into fantastical talks of “presidential hold-over” , “election failure” and even “martial law.”

“It should be an eye opener for us to see how the opposition ranging from President Erap’s (Estrada) party to the Makati Business Club has come together not only to denounce the SC ruling as unconstitutional – as if they are the better judge of the issue – but also scare our people with fantastical talks," Olivar said.

He took issue of the critical comments by presidential candidate Sen. Benigno Aquino III, who, Olivar said, said has stooped to claiming that the Arroyo government is worse than Marcos’.

“The senator’s anger at legalities and technicalities is a quality of his that our voters should ponder,” Olivar added.

The controversy over the appointment of the successor to SC Chief Justice Reynato Puno when he retires on May 17, has been principally resolved on the aspect of whether President Arroyo can still make the appointment despite a Constitutional ban on appointments during election time or at least 60 days until the end of her term on June 30.

The High Tribunal ruled that the President can make the appointment, citing that the judiciary is exempted from the ban and that another provision of the Constitution gives the President the power to fill up any vacancies in the Supreme Court and the judiciary within 90 days from the occurrence of any vacancy. (PNA)

LAP/OPS/ssc

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