Posted by: nupl | March 1, 2010

National Human Rights Lawyers Group Files Opposition to Petition to Compel the Judicial and Bar Council to Submit Nominations for Chief Justice to President Arroyo

PRESS STATEMENT

1 March 2010

National Human Rights Lawyers Group Files Opposition to Petition to Compel the Judicial and Bar Council to Submit Nominations for Chief Justice to President Arroyo

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, with hundreds of volunteer human rights lawyers nationwide, has taken steps to ensure the preservation of the integrity of our judicial system and the effective delivery of justice to the people.

In this light, we have filed an Opposition-in-Intervention with the Supreme Court today to oppose any possible move by the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to appoint a new Chief Justice of the highest court in the land before she steps down from office. The NUPL is opposing the present petition lodged before the Court to compel the Judicial and Bar Council to submit its list of nominees for the position to President Arroyo on both procedural and substantive grounds.

The incumbent Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno will retire on May 17, 2010, creating a vacancy in the highest seat of the Supreme Court. Only until Chief Justice Puno vacates his position will an actual vacancy be created.

The NUPL’s petition is anchored on three strong arguments. First, the President may not appoint anyone for the position of Chief Justice, as there is yet no vacancy for that position. Second, in the event that the vacancy comes into existence, the President is still prohibited to appoint, since the vacancy in the Chief Justice position will fall within the prohibited period of sixty (60) days before the presidential elections. Such an appointment is referred to as a “midnight appointment”, which is expressly prohibited by none other than the Constitution, the highest law of the land. Third, there are already rules in place should such a vacancy occur, and the most senior Justice on the Bench shall become Chief Justice in an acting capacity, until the new president appoints a new Chief Justice.

In its desire to appoint a new Chief Justice, President Arroyo will be transgressing several laws and the Constitution and will also be breaking a long tradition already in place in our judicial system, and will also be encroaching upon the powers and the independence of the Judiciary.

The  NUPL will not stand idly while the outgoing president tries to pull another sleight of hand while the country is in the middle of the election turmoil.#

Reference:

Atty. Edre U. Olalia

Acting Secretary General

Atty. Julius Garcia Matibag

Spokesperson

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: