Puno on Noynoy says, “Respect the Law”

By: Mara Cordial

Chief Justice Reynato Puno

Chief Justice Reynato Puno

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court has turned into an “Arroyo court,” along with the charges and outgoing Chief Justice Reynato Puno has an advice for his successor, Associate Justice Renato Corona: to prove that the Supreme Court under his throne will be independent of others’ activities and interests.

The retiring chief justice also has something to say to the incoming president, Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, and that is to: “Respect the law and avoid actions that may lead to a constitutional crisis.”

Corona will be taking his oath of office before President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today even as legal stalwarts maintain there stand against his appointment and claims that the event has violated the constitutional ban against midnight appointments. The Supreme Court said that the President‘s appointment of a chief justice is not covered by the ban on midnight appointments in 60 days before the presidential elections and 30 days before the end of a sitting president’s term.

Corona, who is 62 years old, served as Mrs. Arroyo’s chief of staff. Now he will head the judiciary for eight yearr and well beyond the six-year term of the apparent incoming president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Puno, in one of his interviews with the reporters, says to Corona: “My advice is simple. He has to keep the judiciary especially the Supreme Court completely independent, with integrity intact because as we all know the only enduring capital of the High Court is its credibility,” and added that, “The biggest challenge … for the Court is to immediately prove to the people that it is indeed an independent court.”

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