Everything you've wanted to know about RP politics, but were afraid to ask.

Midnight Chief Justice, last-minute gov’t deals

Posted by akosistella on March 17, 2010

GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc | The Philippine Star

As if midnight deals were not bad enough, President Arroyo too is coming closer to naming a midnight Chief Justice. That’s if what a braggart at Malacañang is saying is true.

The showoff claims to have scored at the Supreme Court for Arroyo. Allegedly he has convinced most justices to rule that the constitutional ban on midnight appointments does not apply to the judiciary. This would let Arroyo name a replacement when CJ Reynato Puno retires on May 17.

The ploy runs counter to five decades of jurisprudence against a departing President’s midnight postings in the executive or judiciary. That legal dogma has been written into the 1987 Constitution. The fundamental law forbids the President from appointing anyone starting 60 days before a presidential election up term’s end on June 30. But Arroyo is desperate to fend off charges of plunder and death squads when her Presidency expires. So she wants to have a pliant Supreme Court led by a loyalist Chief Justice. And the boastful Palace operator claims to have clinched it for her. The next step supposedly is to petition the Court to resolve the issue once and for all.

Click Jarius Bondoc.

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