Corona: Newly-elected President need not take his oath before SC Chief Justice

May 17, 2010 8:24 pm 

MANILA, May 17 — Newly-appointed Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona said on Monday the 1987 Constitution does not require the newly-elected President to take his oath of office before the Chief Justice.

In his first press conference following his oath-taking before President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Malacanang as the 23rd Chief Justice of the SC, Corona said, "I have no problem with that. That is the prerogative of the President."

Corona was reacting to the statement of presidential front-runner Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III that he would rather be sworn in by a barangay captain than by the new Chief Justice.

Aquino declared that he does not want to be sworn in by the Chief Justice that President Arroyo appointed because he wants to avoid any legal questions that could cloud his inauguration as the next Philippine president.

The presidential inauguration will be at noontime of June 30, 2010.

Aquino maintained that the Philippine Constitution does not require him to be sworn in by the Chief Justice.

Corona agreed that there is no constitutional requirement for the Chief Justice to be the one to administer the oath of office.

He also stressed that the question of who appointed him will not affect his unwavering commitment to the pursuit of justice.

The 23rd Chief Justice described himself as "very friendly person, not snubbish or anything."

Corona stressed that he has a "working relationship" with President Arroyo, adding that this was not a personal or social relationship.

Corona cited that since being appointed to the High Court, he never talked to President Arroyo but only had "passing greetings" in three instances on formal occasions.

"My loyalty is to the Constitution," Corona stressed.

Corona, however, declined to comment on the supposed constitutional crisis if Aquino refuses to be sworn in by the Chief Justice, saying that this is a political issue. (PNA)

DCT/scs/PTR

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