Thursday, 15 December 2011

Chief Justice vows to block President’s plan to appoint puppet court

Judges lead solidarity walkout
With Jovee Marie N. Dela Cruz, Jing Villamente and Jaime Pilapil
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Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona on Wednesday came out fighting as he pledged to block a supposed plan of President Benigno Aquino 3rd to become a dictator, saying that the
country’s incumbent leader wanted to oust him so that he can appoint a puppet court and control all branches of the government.


At least 500 judges and court employees of the Regional Trial Court of Manila also on Wednesday marched to the Supreme Court to show their support for Corona.

Ten High Tribunal justices were also there, as well as justices of the Court of Appeals and the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.

SC Justices Maria Lourdes Aranal-Sereno and Estela Perlas-Bernabe, who were appointed by Mr. Aquino, did not show up.

Justices Antonio Carpio and Martin Villarama were also not around.

Wearing black shirts and black arm bands, the judges and court employees started their march at 12:20 p.m.

Antonio Eugenio, the president of the Manila Regional Trial Court Judges Association, said that they were fully behind Corona “no matter what the cost.”

Eugenio added that court sessions were suspended.

Proceedings at the 45 branches of the Quezon City (Metro Manila) Regional Court and Metropolitan Trial Court were also suspended after the executive judge ordered a “court holiday’’ in the afternoon.

Some of the estimated 675 Hall of Justice personnel trooped to the SC to listen to Corona’s speech, while others stayed in their offices and just watched the proceedings on their TV sets.
A number of court employees sympathetic to Corona wore black T-shirts.

Malacañang and some members of Congress denounced the declaration of the court holiday.
“Court hearings set for today have been canceled, there are even reports that hearings on the Maguindanao massacre case have been reset so that court employees can attend a hastily planned rally this afternoon in support of [Corona]. If this is true, then one must ask if the judiciary is not being manipulated into participating in one man’s personal issues,” Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

“We call on members of the judiciary to not let themselves be used to further the political agenda of one man and his patron,” he added.

Related articles:
-Judges lead solidarity walkout
-Strongman rule looms
-Integrated Bar of the Philippines backs Chief Justice
-Palace ally Hermilando Mandanas who junked impeach rap fired

-Pushing Back
-Pushing us to anarchy

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