Sunday, August 26, 2018

Hontiveros hits Duterte’s choice of De Castro as Chief Justice: 'short on integrity, vision and courage'

Senator Risa Hontiveros / photo file from Google (ctto)

Manila, Philippines – Opposition senator Risa Hontiveros said that President Rodrigo Duterte took the shortest path to keep the Supreme Court “under his control” by appointing Associate Justice Teresita de Castro as the new chief justice.

Hontiveros stressed this statement on Sunday, saying that, De Castro, who replaced Maria Lourdes Sereno, would only serve as Chief Justice until October this year.

“President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of the one who will become the shortest-serving Chief Justice in the country’s history is absolutely short-sighted,” Hontiveros said.

“It fell terribly short on many fronts: short on integrity, short on vision and short on courage,” she said.

The senator also called on the public to exercise extra vigilance in these extremely challenging times.

“It’s too much to expect na mag-a appoint siya ng pinaka- independent sa kanya. Sana ang Supreme Court muling tumayong malakas na check and balance,” Hontiveros said via a radio interview.

She said that people should closely watch the “sham electoral protest” of former senator Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo as well as the case of the country’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“While the new Chief Justice’s term will be the shortest, it could also be long enough to cause further damage to our already battered democratic institutions,” the opposition senator said.

“Far from being short and sweet, the term of the new Chief Justice may well be short and bitter,” she added.

Meanwhile, her party-mate senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said on Saturday that appointing De Castro is an “endo (end of contract) CJ does not help in the strengthening of the rule of law.”*

“Why appoint someone who will only sit as Chief Justice for less than two months? What public purpose does it serve? What public value does it create? The appointment leaves much to be desired,” Pangilinan said.

“Why appoint someone who will only sit as Chief Justice for less than two months?” the senator asked.

“What public purpose does it serve? What public value does it create?” Pangilinan said, lamenting De Castro’s appointment.

Senator Richard Gordon, on the other hand, said that De Castro can still do a lot even with just less than two months in office.

“Makakapamili tayo ng bago. Marami namang qualified (We can choose a new one. There are many [justices] qualified),” he said in an interview with DwIZ.

The blue ribbon committee chairman also praised the appointment of the new CJ even though she only has two months to serve.

“I am just comfortable that she is there. To me, to buy the peace for the moment is sufficient. She is well qualified. She is sufficient,” the senator said.

“Kahit na pinaka-maikli yung kanyang term baka ang pipiliin ko si Justice De Castro… Nakita kong magaling talaga yung trabaho niya bilang justice sa Sandiganbayan,” he said.

 Source: Politiko