MANILA, Philippines – In light of Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment in the House of Representatives last night, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino today called for vigilance against the possible establishment of an “Aquino Court” once the Senate concurs with the House decision.
Palatino, who was among the 188 solons who signed the articles of impeachment, said that “While the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona should be supported on the basis of his blind loyalty to former President Arroyo despite her crimes against the people, I stress the necessity to exercise vigilance against moves to establish as replacement an Aquino court.”
“There is indeed a pressing need to cleanse and transform our judiciary system that historically sides with the elite. But this does not mean that we should allow as an alternative a new Supreme Court that has as its Chief Justice someone who is subservient to President Aquino,” Palatino said.
“This impeachment complaint strongly reminds public servants to keep their fidelity to their mandated oath to always put above all else the rights and welfare of the people. This reminder also applies to President Aquino and his allies who seemingly want to exploit the situation by repeating, instead of traversing, the crimes of Arroyo. The next Chief Justice should be pro-people, not pro-Aquino,” Palatino said.
Palatino said that despite the claims of social change touted by the Aquino administration, the policies it espouses remains within the framework of the past Arroyo regime.
The youth solon cited lack of genuine agrarian reform, ineffective poverty measures, continuing government neglect of basic social services and state violence against legitimate protests as concrete examples of the Aquino administration’s pursuance of Arroyo’s brand of leadership.
“President Aquino’s apparent bias towards his family in the case of Hacienda Luisita should not, for instance, lead to the reversal of the earlier Supreme Court decision ordering the distribution among farmer beneficiaries of the land. Vigilance is necessary against possible Palace machinations to merely establish a new Supreme Court that will kowtow to whatever demands of the current powers that be,” Palatino said.
Palatino said that the resemblance of the Aquino and Arroyo administrations in terms of social polices makes it even more urgent for the people to play an active role in the process and outcome of the impeachment proceedings.