Appeal To Supreme Court Will Spark Crisis, Enrile Warns Ex- Chief Justice.

A day after the senate decision about the impeachment of the Ex- Chief Justice, Renato Corona, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, issued a landmark and warned him against questioning the decision in the Supreme Court.

Enrile, who presided over the 44-day impeachment trial, and masterly steered it to its conclusion last Tuesday, maintained that the Senate had “the sole power to try and decide all impeachment cases” under the Constitution.

“I will say this very frankly and I hope they understand—if they (the Supreme Court) will question the jurisdiction of the impeachment court and reverse our decision, we will defy them,” he said in an interview with ANC where he kicked off a series of TV and radio interview, apparently to explain the verdict.

“If they want a constitutional crisis in this country, they will have one.”

Corona’s impeachment marked the first ever completed impeachment trial in the country’s history. But, In 2001, a similar ouster proceeding in the Senate against then President Joseph Estrada was aborted following a prosecution walkout.

Enrile was visibly in combat mode when the issue of appeal was raised the morning after 20 of the 23 members of the Senate impeachment court voted to convict Corona for his failure to declare dollar and peso deposits in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

Enrile expressed doubts over how a Supreme Court decision reversing the conviction of Corona could be enforced, considering that the Senate was “outside the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in terms of the trial and judgment in an impeachment case.”

“They cannot review our decision,” he said. “Otherwise, they will be the one to make the final decision in violation of the Constitution, which says that the Senate has the sole power to decide and try all impeachment cases.”

1,913 New Lawyers

Among 6,000 hopefuls to become a lawyer, only 1,913 passed the exam.

The Supreme Court released the results yesterday, February 29, 2pm. Chief Justice Renato Corona appeared before the public and gave a statement.

“Sa successful, my heartfelt congratulations to you. Sa kinapos ng konti sa average, there’s always a next time, huwag kayo mawawalan ng pagasa,” said Corona.

Outwitting them all, ADMU student, Raoul Angelo D. Atadero made it to the first place. Luz Bolong (ADMU) was 2nd. She was followed by Cherry Rafal-Roble (Arellano University) and Rosemil Bañaga (Notre Dame University), who placed 3rd and fourth, respectively.

The 2011 batch, which gained 31.95%, is the second highest rating of bar passers since 2001 which has 32.89% passing rate.

Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appoints a new Chief Justice

Associate Justice Renato Puno

Associate Justice Renato Puno

Malacañang announced Wednesday morning that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has chosen Supreme Court Associate Justice Renato Corona to replace Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who is scheduled to retire on May 17.

Presidential spokesman Ricardo Saludo said that President Arroyo picked Corona, 61, from among the four nominees submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), a Palace source said.

GMANews.TV tried to get a confirmation from Supreme Court spokesman Midas Marquez but calls to his mobile phone went unanswered.

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Arroyo can name next Chief Justice, says SC

Puno designates Carpio acting Chief Justice

MANILA, Philippines—Reinterpreting the constitutional provision against an outgoing president’s so-called midnight appointments, the Supreme Court Wednesday gave President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the authority to appoint the next Chief Justice.

Nine of the 15 justices voted to allow Ms Arroyo, who steps down from office on June 30, to appoint the successor of Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who retires on May 17. According to the nine, Section 15 Article VII that prohibits midnight appointments does not apply to the Supreme Court.

The high court ordered the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to submit the short list of nominees for Chief Justice to Malacañang “on or before May 17.” But it did not say whether Ms Arroyo could appoint Puno’s successor before the vacancy occurs.

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Supreme Court: Appointed officials should their posts before runnning in polls

Manila, Philippines- The Supreme Court has ruled that appointed officials seeking elective posts should quit government posts.

lawyer Romulo Macalintal said he will appeal the new decision. Far from leveling the playing field, Macalintal insist the new ruling is discriminatory against appointed officials since it assumes that elected ones are not using aby positions to promote their personal interests.

“I was looking for new arguments, and they failed to show one,” he said in a separate interview.


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Comelec threat to ban: Oprah, Ellen did it

THE TOP TWO PRESIDENTIAL rivals for the May 10 poll agree on one thing.

One presidential candidate vowed to challenge it before the Supreme Court. Another slammed it as a violation of the freedom of expression. One celebrity said he was saddened by it, while others cried it was unfair.

This was the storm stirred up Thursday by a Commission on Elections (Comelec) threat to throw the book at celebrities and mass media personalities who would endorse any candidate during the current election campaign, unless they resign or go on leave from their radio or television shows or media outfits.

“Did (American TV show hosts) Oprah (Winfrey) and Ellen DeGeneres lose their shows on account of their presidential candidates? This is a democratic country and celebrities have the right to choose their candidates,” Angeli Valenciano, wife of singer Gary Valenciano, said.

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Justice Corona’s voting record favors Arroyo

MANILA, Philippines –The voting record of Supreme Court Associate Justice Renato Corona, who has finally broken his silence and accepted the nomination for Chief Justice, shows that he has consistently sided with the administration in politically-significant cases.

When Newsbreak tracked the voting pattern of Supreme Court justices, including the two leading contenders for chief justice—Corona and Justice Antonio Carpio—from 2001 to early 2008, Corona lodged a high 78 percent in favor of Arroyo, with Carpio at 42 percent. (Read: Voting pattern of Supreme Court justices)

Corona is the sole senior magistrate to consider, what many legal experts say, is a midnight appointment to the SC.

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Petition to disqualify Erap on his candidacy: Dismissed!

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed with finality a petition to disqualify former President Joseph Estrada from again seeking the presidency in the May 2010 elections.

The petition was filed by the group of Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc., was first junked by the Higher Court on December 8, 2009. But the group filed a motion for reconsideration.

“The Court denied the petition with finality  because there are no substantial arguments in the petition,” said lawyer Midas Marquez, High Tribunal spokesman and concurrently deputy court administrator.

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GMA to name next Supreme Court chief – Palace

MANILA, Philippines – President Arroyo will appoint a new Chief Justice before she steps down in June despite objections from several quarters.

“What’s clear and what should be made clear is that the President will do what is required of her, not only by law, but by overriding national interest, and right now it’s clear that it is in the national interest not to have such an important position vacated for such a long period of time,” deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar said.

He was referring to a scenario of a Supreme Court (SC) without a chief justice from Reynato Puno’s retirement on May 17 to the end of Mrs. Arroyo’s term on June 30.

“It seems to me that acting in the national interest would require that she make the proper action as far as recommending the next chief justice,” Olivar said of the President’s determination to appoint Puno’s replacement before her term ends.

He said that barring an unfavorable ruling from the SC, Mrs. Arroyo “will do what is needed for the national interest and required of her by her office.”

Olivar said those opposed to the President’s appointment of Puno’s replacement have politicized the issue.

He said the detractors should raise the matter to the SC to settle the issue once and for all.

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Group says extended voters’ registration days not enough

A party-list group on Monday slammed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) over what it regarded as a selective implementation by the poll body of a Supreme Court decision extending the voters’ registration for the May 2010 elections.

The Kabataan party-list, the largest youth party in the country and the only youth party-list in Congress, described the Comelec guidelines for the extended registration period “contemptuous of the High Court’s order.”

Under Comelec Resolution No. 8719, the poll body only allotted five days – December 21, 22, 23, 28, and 29 – for the actual registration. The remaining days were set aside for administrative aspects of the registration like completion of the Book of Voters, posting notices of the Election Registration Board and hearings on oppositions to applications for registration.

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