MANILA, Philippines – It’s hypothetical at this point but when asked if he could guarantee that the next chief justice will not be beholden to him, President Aquino didn’t hesitate to answer.
“Why don’t you look at my previous appointments? Is anyone of them beholden to me? Have they voted, every time, in our favor? I think the justices themselves that I appointed will tell you,” President Aquino told reporters in a press conference on December 13.
The House of Representatives on December 12 voted overwhelmingly to impeach Chief Justice Renato Corona on the grounds betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the constitution, and graft and corruption. The Senate will hold the impeachment trial when Congress resumes session in January 2012.
The President said he is confident of the strength of the impeachment complaint filed by the House. He said he is looking forward to the Senate’s appreciation of the case.
“It follows na kung matibay ‘yung kaso at inaasahan natin yung mga senador, ang mga hinalal na kinatawan ng ating taumbayan, ay susunod naman sila sa tugon ng ating mga boss.” (It follows that if the case is strong and we can trust the senators, who were elected by the people, then they will do what the people want.)
Will the President try to influence the senators? “Shall we say that I know what I’m supposed to do? And I will do what is necessary to fulfill my oath of service to the Filipino people,” Aquino said.
Aquino also dismissed criticisms that he ordered the congressmen to impeach the Chief Justice. “Nang-awat pa ako at some point in time at dumating nag ‘yung punto na napakarami na ng ebidensya na talagang napa-sang-ayon nako na talagang hindi na pwedeng panatilihin ‘yung suffering o paghihirap na nai-inflict sa ating bayan.” (At one point, I tried stop it. It got to a point when the evidence have already piled up and I had to agree that we really cannot let the difficulties inflicted on the nation to continue.) –Rappler.com