Now that Pro-Marcos Teresita de Castro is the Supreme Court chief justice, the yellow officials and their supporters can only hope for divine intervention. That if their wishes are favored by the higher-ups. However, de Castro only has less than two months to strengthen her predecessor’s system since she retires on October 8. She explains to the Judicial and Bar Council that her short-term would not get in the way of her effectiveness as chief magistrate. Can she possibly balance the biases against Bongbong Marcos that prolong his electoral protest against the questionable Vice President Leni Robredo?
[VIDEO]: President Rodrigo Duterte appoints Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
A Lot to Accomplish in a Couple of Months
Tenure has always been respected by the Supreme Court as the institution’s culture. The appointment of the junior justice Maria Lourdes Sereno as the chief justice did not surprisingly cause issues despite overpassing the more senior contenders. De Castro accepted Sereno’s Presidential appointment at the time of ex-Pnoy. She said that there’s nothing she can do about it. This time, she’s confident of all the years she has worked to be able to accomplish much within the 2 months that she’ll have.
Very Qualified as Supreme Court Head
De Castro has been working in government service for 45 years now. She has only started out then with clerical work for the High Court and then rising through the ranks. With the Supreme Court, she has served for already 11 years. She also has experience serving at the Department of Justice as well as being the presiding justice of the Sandiganbayan.
De Castro is now carrying on the work of digitization started on by the former CJ Sereno. The Enterprise Information Systems Plan has always been Sereno’s pet project and now De Castro is continuing this. This is a joint endeavor by the Supreme Court and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office(PCDSPO). The project covers the country’s executive issuances, laws, and jurisprudence. Once completed, the records will be publicly available through the Official Gazette and the Supreme Court Library.
De Castro have the most approval within the judiciary among those shortlisted for the role. Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin were the other people who were shortlisted. The only sentiments against De Castro would be the unnecessary expense of her appointment. She would have a bigger compensation as chief justice as well as an enhanced retirement package for only completing 2 months of service. That can be a challenge for her to do what she has to do in a very short time.
The SolGen Approved of the Appointment
Quoting Solicitor General Jose Calida, “We are elated because her legal brilliance, competence, fairness, and integrity ensure that justice will be well-served during her tenure.” The solicitor general certainly believes that De Castro truly deserves this appointment. Calida was instrumental in the removal of Sereno through his quo warranto petition that confirms that the former President’s appointee was not qualified for the job as voted by the majority of her fellow magistrates. De Castro can only work for the benefit of the public as per the mandate of the current President. That should be very alarming for the opposition right now.
Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide’s fear flashes on TV screens; I’m sure that if Du30 runs as Federal transition president, he will win. If Bongbong Marcos runs as Vice President, he can easily win as well, he said. Contrary to Davide’s worry, this is actually what the majority wants. The pro-Marcos-Du30 supporters’ massive presence can’t be denied. They have displayed their number on many occasions like the INC’s longest sentence that bag’s the Guinness world record. INC members voted solely for Marcos as VP during the 2016 election – plus the over 16 million voters of the President.
[VIDEO]: President Rodrigo Du30 now wants someone else to lead the transition to a federal system of government so he can step down as soon as a new constitution is ratified through a plebiscite.
The Palace Announcement
The Palace reveals that President Rodrigo Du30 wants an election for the federal transition government leader. “I instructed Consultative Committee to elect a transitional President. I am willing to cut my term to be co-terminus with the start of the transition period. Committee agreed,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque confirms this. “It’s to remove all suspicions and I am tired. Ready to give it to somebody else,” the President added.
Presidential Term is Shortened and NOT Extended
The transition period toward the federal government is set to start in 2019. That would mean Du30’s six-year term would be reduced to just three. The Consultative Committee reviews the 1987 Constitution then hands over its draft proposal of the Federal Constitution to the President recently.
Words from the Congress
The Congress’ Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia said that the House would give priority to the proposal after the resumption of sessions next week. It fuels suspicion that President’s majority allies would declare a House-alone constituent assembly that would amend the Constitution.
Speculations Thrown to Discourage the Du30-Marcos Federal Tandem
Davide, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution stresses that a federal system of government will be anti-poor because it will burden the people with double taxation. The conniving Pulse Asia survey also reports that the majority of the Filipinos are not in favor of the federal change. However, it is also evident in the latest national election that the people just don’t care with the contradictory statements of the opposition. Most voters trust the President. If he does not want succession because his current VP is incompetent, then let it be Marcos.
Lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon recently said that Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno could not bring before the SC the decision of lawmakers. He insists that only she could cross-examine witnesses during the proceedings. Gadon filed the impeachment complaints against Sereno. He publicly admits that he wants to “avenge” former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo and the late Chief Justice Renato Corona. In addition, he also wants to make sure that the Vice Presidency goes to Bongbong Marcos.
[VIDEO]: Justices De Castro, Jardeleza to testify against Sereno – Atty. Gadon
Appeal for the Supreme Court CJ to Resign
Gadon earlier stresses that Sereno should resign to keep the integrity of the body that she is serving. He warns that the Congress Impeachment hearings are brutal. However, the CJ responded that to resign is nor even an option for her. This is allegedly so because she is certain that the case has no legal basis.
The Right to Counsel
Lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, a spokesperson for Sereno, said that the Constitution provides that the Chief Justice “be accorded the right to counsel and the right to cross-examine the complainant and the witnesses through her lawyers. These are the same rights that are guaranteed to every citizen of this country to ensure due process.” Gadon is told to review his law on this matter.
Sereno’s Camp Takes the Case as a Political Process
This political process involved a judicial character the same as that of a criminal prosecution,” Lacanilao said. The House Committee on Justice formally invited Sereno to the next impeachment hearing on Nov. 22. She insinuates that her lawyers will represent her.
Gadon wants the ones who benefit from the misfortunes of ex-President Arroyo and the late former CJ Corona, like Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno, to be accountable for those.” Gadon also works to assure former Senator Bongbong Marcos’ timely take over to the VP post. He believes that as an appointee of Pnoy, Marcos’ electoral protest against Robredo won’t get the justice it deserves under Sereno’s Supreme Court watch.
The House justice committee declares that the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has “sufficient grounds.” She is an appointee of Pnoy. The complaint of lawyer Larry Gadon cites at least 27 points against the Chief Justice. This occurs when COMELEC asks for additional time to comply with the SC’s show cause order on Bongbong Marcos’ recount preparation. Will this speed up the VP electoral protest? Sereno vows not to attend the hearings to prioritize her work. However, Marcos is confident that he will soon be Vice President.
[VIDEO]: Impeachment complaint vs CJ Sereno, idineklarang ‘sufficient in grounds’
Majority Votes against the Supreme Court CJ
Twenty-five members of the committee voted in favor to declare sufficient grounds for the complaint. Only two opposed it. Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman and Dinagat Representative Kaka Bag-ao argued that the sufficiency of grounds must be discussed one by one. Lagman who belongs to the minority, cannot vote. He is not a member of the committee.
Timing Coincides with Recount
The committee is to deliberate if there is probable cause to pursue the impeachment complaint. Committee chairman Reynaldo Umali said this would happen in November when the recount is expected to start. The impeachment session is set to adjourn on October 14. It resumes on November 13.
Alliance with President Du30
Bongbong Marcos confirms that his family was in talks with the President, a political ally. This is to end the previous government’s hunt for billions of dollars worth of national assets deposited by the Marcos patriarch for the welfare of the people at the World Bank. The son insists that they do not need immunity because they are innocent of any wrongdoing. They are willing to help in the proceeding.
The Real Vice President
“We are definitely sure that when the recount starts the true result will emerge and prove that the votes in the vice-presidential election had been incorrectly counted,” Marcos addresses the media during a press conference. It seems that he is really aware of the current moves of the government given the circumstances. Perhaps Sereno’s impeachment and the recount timing is not a coincidence.