Ever since President Benigno Aquino acknowledged Renato Corona during the “Red Mass” at the Manila Cathedral on July 7 and in his first State of the Nation Address on July 26, there was already an understanding, agreement and an acceptance that he was a legal appointee of the outgoing president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the Supreme Court chief. The Supreme Court’s confirmation was simply unassailable, as it was irrefutable.
So, why stir up the hornets nest when the chief arbiter of the land, the Supreme Court, has spoken and the going is good for PNoy?
Amid the controversy of the midnight appointments of the previous Arroyo administration, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Eduardo de Mesa said the validity of Corona’s appointment has already been settled by the Supreme Court.
However, some members of the judiciary, executive departments, agencies, offices, and instrumentalities including government-owned or controlled corporations, may be included in PNoy’s directive contained in Executive Order 2 “recalling, withdrawing, and revoking appointments issued by the previous administration in violation of the constitutional ban on midnight appointments.”
The EO specifically cited Article 7, Section 15 of the Constitution, which states that “two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.”
Malacañang is said to be questioning now 977 midnight appointments made by former president Arroyo.
“The sheer number of these appointments gives basis to the opinion or belief that they were made for the purpose of depriving the next President of the prerogative of making these appointments,” De Mesa said.
It looks like former president Arroyo simply and arrogantly shrugged off a landmark Supreme Court decision in the case of Aytona v Castillo, where the outgoing administration during an election period was “enjoined from performing acts that would embarrass or obstruct the policies of the successor or negate the successor’s executive prerogative to exercise his appointing power.”
Arroyo’s numerous political patronages while ending her term of office has definitely left a bitter taste in every decent citizen’s mouth.