The President..To Be Proscribed To Appoint SC Justice, Ever Again.
March 8, 2012 7:42am CST
The power to appoint a Supreme Court Justice, particularly Chief Justice lies with the President, who only has the sole power to select one from the three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC). To refresh our minds, let's go back a little in the 90's during Erap's time as president, where he appointed Hilario Davide Jr. as the Chief Justice who held such position for almost seven years, who's immediately followed by Artemio Panganiban, who's GMA's first appointee as CJ, followed by Reynato Puno, who retired last 2010 before the elections, after which GMA appointed the now-impeached Renato C. Corona. Back in time, appointing a certain Chief Justice is not really a big deal or a serious issue especially when there is a new President coming in to replace the old executive chief- I'm talking about the time when President Aquino won the Presidential race last Nat'l Election, as we can remember he was so vocal about his disappointment about the Midnight appointment of Mr. Corona as the CJ paired for his term; They say it was unconstitutional but I think what's in the mind of the President was that how could he be successful on his sturdy campaign for Transparency and Accountability when there's someone in the way he seems to be a colossal obstruction to his famed slogan, which is- in our own vernacular: "tuwid na daan".? The issue bloomed and bloomed until the time came that the friction between the 2 heads of our Government became so visible and blatant- An unprecedented case in the history of our country. Do you think it is about time to promulgate such law to prevent a President, present and/or future to appoint any Chief Justice ever again? Does depriving him of that power be a more effective and at the same time an acceptable means to prevent future altercation or quarrel between the heads of our two highest branches of Government? Is it just right for him to be proscribed or to be deprived of such power? What d'ya think? Please share your stand.. Have a good evening!
8 Mar 12
I think it's difficult because when we mean to promulgate a law to prohibit the president from appointing a chief justice, would also mean a revision or amendment of the constitution. This is somehow a long process and would be something that could divert the attention of our leaders instead of looking into the prevailing problems of the country. If the President is not the one who will appoint a chief justice then who is the most competent person to do that? That would be a burden to the one given the rights to appoint. I think the reason why the President should appoint the chief justice because he is the most competent man with enough stock of knowledge enough also to be shared to others. And in this way, the three department of the government being co-equal with each others won't be having hard time to maintain a harmonious relationship, since one of them is an appointee of the chief executive.
• Quezon City, Philippines
9 Mar 12
I agree with you. I think that changing it would entail changing the constitution itself which means that we need to have some kind of a plebiscite to ratify that change. I know anything that requires amendments to the constitution needs not only ratifying by legislative but needs the approval of the whole country. Although the proposal of the original poster is sound and logical as well. I think that the term provided for by the constitution gives longer term for CJ to stay in power thus giving him more time to stay there but the thing is if CJ is incompetent it is not good to see him stay longer there.
17 Mar 12
like what I've said, another option of that would be the JBC and that appointing a CJ doesn't really insinuate that it's only a President's sole power and burden to appoint a CJ, although he can appoint one at any given time when there's a vacancy of such position through a so-called 'midnight appointment'. Having said that, What I am trying to say is that if such circumstance happens ( midnight appointment ) in the future again, would it be good for a President to appoint one? would that constitute another constitutional war just like what's happening today between the Pnoy administration and the Judiciary?
• United States
9 Mar 12
i think the long practice of the government of appointing a chief justice is acceptable cause they are the one most knowledgeable by it but what made it wrong is the kind of people they chose for such position. If we have a President as honest as the current leader now then i don't see any problem of his authority to appoint a chief justice.
23 Mar 12
Hi! you're right! but they must be meticulous concerning the background of the person to be appointed. Like what's in the practice of past Presidents, they are given a particular position because they are either an ex-Classmate/ Schoolmate or just because they were very good friends or a family friend. I just hope that IN THE EVENT CJ Corona be proven guilty of the ongoing impeachment trial, Pnoy should not adhere to the same practice, but rather to appoint somebody according to his conscience.
8 Mar 12
Personally, I don't think the power to appoint the Chief Justice should be taken away from an elected president. What I do however feel is that the fixed term of office should be amended in which any appointees of the president ends when a new president is elected, similar to that of the other political appointees . It's up to the new president to renew the appointment or replace the appointee altogether. I'm aware that there are pros and cons about this but it could minimize or prevent friction between the executive and the judicial departments.