Teodoro: President should exercise ‘prudence’ on SC ruling
By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
MANILA, Philippines – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should exercise “prudence” in appointing the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court so as not to risk hurting the credibility of the institution, her presidential candidate advised Wednesday.
“I will have to study it if it says that the President ‘must’ appoint then we have no choice. If it says ‘may,’ then I would counsel prudence,” said former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro, a day after the Supreme Court ruled that the President could appoint the next Chief Justice when the incumbent Reynato Puno retires on May 17.
“We have to study carefully the effect of any appointment on the public,” he told reporters in an interview Thursday on the side of the Wallace Business Forum at the Shangri-la Hotel in Makati City.
“We will study the decision of the Supreme Court. But I still think that a decision on appointments to the third branch of government must be made very delicately with regard to public confidence and its credibility, that’s very important,” he said before some 100 top executives of multinational corporations at the quarterly round table.
Teodoro also said that if he were the Supreme Court, he would have decided otherwise on the matter.
In a landmark ruling, 9 of the 15 justices voted to allow Arroyo, who will end her term on June 30, to appoint the successor of Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who retires on May 17.
According to the nine justices, Section 15 Article VII that prohibits midnight appointments does not apply to the Supreme Court.
The high court ordered the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to submit the short list of nominees for Chief Justice to Malacañang “on or before May 17.” But it did not say whether Arroyo could appoint Puno’s successor ahead of the incumbent’s retirement.