Corona resignation is the best solution | Inquirer Opinion

Corona resignation is the best solution

/ 01:39 AM December 21, 2011

In the recent First National Criminal Justice System Summit, President Aquino unleashed a knock-out blow on Chief Justice Renato Corona.

(It is said that Corona is a “midnight appointee,” appointed in violation of Sec. 15, Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution.) Some criticized the President for being tactless, but he is telling the truth. Corona in response just said: “Let it be, it’s almost Christmas. Let us think of peace.” Very civil, very gentlemanly as his admirers said. Some say the President was “bastos” and the Chief Justice  “civil.”

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When then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed Corona as Chief Justice, he should have been gentleman enough to refuse the appointment.  Sen. Franklin Drilon wrote several articles on why Arroyo cannot and should not appoint a chief justice. But Arroyo, in her arrogance, went on to appoint Corona, knowing that a “Corroyo” court will sustain her decision. Lo and behold the Court affirmed the legality of the appointment. The Court has spoken—right or wrong, it is the law. Judicial decisions interpreting the law and the Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the Philippines.

Media reported that Justice Antonio Carpio said he was interested in the chief justice position but would rather be nominated by the incoming president.

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All the current problems are traceable to the former president’s arrogance.  What now? P-Noy will be the President until June 30, 2016.  Corona will be Chief Justice until 2018.  Will this conflict between P-Noy and Corona continue?

Corona is very much aware that the President does not recognize him as Chief Justice.  Upon his election, P-Noy said he would take his oath before a barangay captain.  When he was told that it might not be legal, he requested Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales to be the swearing officer for his inauguration. Corona should not have attended the ceremony—but he was there!

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines offers to act as the mediator in this Palace-Supreme Court rift.  The best mediator should be a multi-sectoral body that includes the Iglesia ni Cristo, the Muslims, the academe, but not lawyers who may be biased in favor of Corona. However, I agree with Senator Drilon, it is “extremely difficult to look for a middle ground.”

The best solution, I believe, is for Corona to be the bigger man.  He should do a  “Zubiri,” who resigned  from the Senate. He would be the first chief justice to resign, but if he is no longer the chief justice, the President would stop lambasting him.

However, there is no reason for Corona to reliquish his position as an associate justice, as suggested by some. And there is no basis as well for him to be impeached as such. Being close to the president who appointed him is not a ground for

impeachment.

By being a plain associate justice, he will no longer be “primus inter pares,” but he might just get the peace he wishes for. Live and let live in peace, until June 30, 2016.

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—PIO P. FRAGO,

lawyer,

4-Camaro St., Fairview

Quezon City

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TAGS: Aquino, corona impeachment, letters, Renato corona, resignation, Supreme Court
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