Arroyo can appoint next Chief Justice—SC
By Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) Voting 9-1-3, the Supreme Court ruled that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo could appoint the next Chief Justice, a spokesman for the high tribunal said Wednesday.
Lawyer Midas Marquez made the announcement in a press conference at past 11 a.m. at the Supreme Court division hearing room in Manila.
Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin penned the decision.
Aside from Bersamin, the justices who voted for allowing Arroyo to name the next Chief Justice when the incumbent Reynato Puno retires were: Associate Justices Jose Perez, Martin Villarama, Roberto Abad, Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta, Mariano del Castillo, Teresita Leonardo de Castro, and Jose Mendoza.
Conchita Carpio-Morales was the lone dissenter.
Those who inhibited themselves from voting were Chief Justice Puno, and Associate Justices Renato Corona and Antonio Carpio.
Associate Justices Antonio Eduardo Nachura and Presbitero Velasco voted to dismiss all petitions filed for and against the appointment issue, citing that these are “premature.”