EDITORIAL: Lighter than air
Posted by akosistella on March 20, 2010
Christian Monsod, a member of the Constitutional Commission that drafted the present Constitution, said that by authorizing the President to make appointments to the Judiciary, the Court “added an exemption where there was none.” “There is no ambiguity in the Constitution,” he said. “The ambiguity is in the mind of those justices.”
There is no ambiguity either in the public mind about the character of the present Court. Packed with grateful appointees, it is a Court that is willing to go through all kinds of mental calisthenics to prove their loyalty to President Macapagal-Arroyo.
The Supreme Court’s way of seeing
By Randy David
But, for the purposes of the discussion, what is perhaps more crucial is whether the president who intends to fill up the vacancy within 90 days still has the power to do so. Sec. 15 of Article VII precisely provides that a president who is approaching the end of her term loses the power to make appointments two months before the next presidential election. If the framers intended to exclude the appointment of judges and justices from this comprehensive ban, they could have explicitly stated the exception either in Article VII or Article VIII. There is no such exception in the 1987 Constitution.
It is not difficult to appreciate the rationale behind the ban on presidential appointments on the eve of the election of a new president. An outgoing president is expected to assume basically a caretaker role while preparing for a smooth handover of the government to her successor. This end-stage is no longer about taking something for oneself or one’s party; it is about keeping the ship of state steady as it awaits the arrival of the new captain.
Click Randy David