Monday, December 5, 2011

Aquino lashes out at Supreme Court

President Benigno Aquino III. FILE PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines–President Aquino lashed out against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona on Monday, from the latter’s ascension to the high court to decisions of the high court that had to do with investigating and arresting former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Speaking at the first ever National Criminal Justice summit held at the Manila hotel, the President did not mince words in criticizing the controversial decisions made under the Corona-led high court.

Throughout Mr. Aquino’s 10-minute speech, Corona sat a few meters away from the President and took the presidential tirades in stony silence.

The President first slammed the high court decision’s junking of the Truth Commission he created to investigate the alleged corruption in the Arroyo administration.

“Unang hakbang pa lamang, may barikada na agad (It was just the first step, there is already a barricade),” President Aquino said.

The Chief Executive then slammed the high court move to stop the Department of Justice from implementing its watch list order against Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo.

He said the high court had issued certain conditions on the temporary restraining order it made against the watch list order but he noted that it later said there was no need to implement these conditions.

“Aba e, naglagay ka ng patakaran kung wala ka naman palang balak na masunod ito (You gave rules but you don’t intend to follow them),” the President said.

Mr. Aquino said that the Executive had followed the process and yet the high court was saying the Palace was the one looking for a fight.

“Sino ba naman ang hindi magdududa sa tunay nilang hangarin (Who will not doubt on its real intention)?” he said, adding that this was not the first time the high court had made decisions “hard to understand.”

Then President Aquino also took the opportunity to question the appointment of Corona, noting that Arroyo had made sure that Corona would be Chief Justice before she steps down.

When before the high court had ruled that it was against the law to appoint someone two months before the next election unless it was just a temporary position in the executive, it then flip-flopped and agreed that Corona’s appointment was legal.

“The question now: did the Supreme Court violated the Constitution,” he said.
Mr. Aquino’s speech was interrupted once with an applause when he pointed out that those who took office owe the people and that they should serve their interest.

President Aquino vowed he would continue to pursue his fight against corruption.
“Sa lahat ng nakikibalikat sa atin sa tuwid na daan, manalig kayo: Hanggat’ nasa tama tayo, wala tayong laban na aatrasan (To those who are with us in following the straight path, have faith: As long as we’re right, we will not back off from any fight),” he said.

After his speech, the President shook hands with officials sitting at the presidential table, including Corona. He shook hands with the Chief Justice two times more –when he first arrived at the summit and when he eventually left the occasion.

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