Thursday, March 18, 2010


18 March 2010

Reference: Rep. Neri Colmenares

BAYAN MUNA Party List Representative

SC DECISION ON CJ ISSUE WILL AFFECT ANTI-IMPUNITY CAMPAIGN AFTER 2010: New President may face formidable challenge

BAYAN MUNA PARTY-LIST expresses serious concern over the Supreme Court decision allowing Pres. Gloria Arroyo to appoint the next chief justice as it may affect the campaign against impunity that Bayan Muna plans to conduct after Pres. Arroyo steps down from office. “There will definitely be a host of criminal cases against Pres. Arroyo and many of her subordinates for graft and corruption, electoral fraud and human rights violations,” declared Bayan Muna Party List representative Neri Javier Colmenares. “Many of these cases will definitely reach the Supreme Court for adjudication”, he added.

Bayan Muna Party List has made a strong assertion that Pres. Arroyo wants to appoint the next chief justice in her attempt to ensure favorable ruling in issues affecting her plan to perpetuate herself in power and protect her from criminal liability for the various crimes committed during her term. “Pres. Arroyo can now make two appointments—appoint the chief justice and appoint another justice to fill up the 15th slot vacated by CJ Reynato Puno” Rep. Colmenares explained. “It is surprising that even if there is no urgency to resolve the issue since Pres. Arroyo has not yet appointed a chief justice, the Supreme Court has promulgated a decision. At the very least it should have held oral arguments since there is a lot of time to thresh out issues raised by many parties and intervenors”, he added.

Bayan Muna Party List has charged Pres. Arroyo of trying to control congress by ordering her subordinates to run for congressional seats through the district or party list elections. “She hopes that with her control of Congress and the Supreme Court, she will be able to hold hostage the next president of the Philippines. The plan to perpetuate herself in power continues”, Rep. Colmenares warned.

Bayan Muna Party List supports moves to file motion for reconsideration and urges that the Court conduct Oral Arguments on the matter especially since the basis of the Court’s decision is highly controversial. The Supreme Court ruled that the provision banning the president from appointing public officials two months before an election only pertains to the executive branch because it is found in Article VII which discusses the powers of the president. “Of course it will be found under the executive provisions and not those pertaining to the judiciary because it is a limitation to the power of the President and not to any other official. It will be absurd if the prohibition is repeatedly and redundantly placed in provisions pertaining to the judiciary, and other government branches and bodies” clarified Rep. Colmenares.

Bayan Muna Party List asks the Supreme Court to the decide the issue on the basis of its constitutional intent—to proscribe the evils of arbitrary midnight appointments and the unwanted situation where a president loads the judicial dice in her favor. “Pres. Arroyo has practically destroyed the constitutional mechanism of impeachment. Now, she is trying to further compromise accountability mechanisms with her insistence to appoint members of the judiciary barely a month before her term ends.” Rep. Colmenares said. “This country will survive without a chief justice for 90 days. We may not survive a constitutional upheaval, however, if she insists on appointing one despite public outrage over the same”. ###