This is the time to inhibit

CHIEF Justice Renato Corona is a man guided in life by loyalty and gratitude, the two virtues that according to him are his guiding principles in life.

Incidentally, it appears that the same virtues were badly needed by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from her underling hence she took him under her wings and made him serve her as her aide when she was vice president.

She then made him her chief of staff, spokesperson and acting executive secretary after grabbing the reigns of power from Joseph Estrada, the then duly elected president of the republic.

Arroyo, in a move that smacks of self preservation, then appointed Corona chief justice of the Supreme Court during the last few moments of her reign.

It is no wonder then that the same virtues that Corona held dearly made him suspect of being an ever loyal underling of the former Malacañang tenant.

Unsurprisingly, Corona’s recent pronouncements betray his idea that his former boss is just being persecuted by the current administration.

This was evident when Corona recently lectured Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz on the primacy of respecting and protecting a person’s rights.

“We are a court of law and that’s our job here under the Constitution, to protect the individual rights of citizens…Imagine six or seven years from now, if a person is being hounded by their political enemies with the same vigor as you have, don’t you think it would be incumbent to this Court to give their constitutional right the same importance we are giving them today?”

Corona’s lecture speaks for himself.

It clearly shows what he thinks of the current developments engulfing his former patron – that she is just being hounded by her political enemies.

It seems that for Corona, Arroyo is not a former president being made accountable for the abuses committed during her reign but an individual being persecuted simply because she is on the other side of the political divide.

What then can we expect from the loyal chief justice when his mind seems already made up?

I respectfully submit that to protect the integrity of the high court and to avoid any misconception, the chief justice should inhibit from hearing Arroyo’s cases.

* * *

Among the three branches of the government – the executive, legislative and judicial – the judicial body is the weakest but it is the noblest for it is presumed that the courts, including the Supreme Court, operate on higher moral grounds.

It is that moral ascendancy of the courts that compel the two other branches to follow its lead.

Since the power of the courts emanate from its moral ascendancy, it is important that justices, judges and officers of the court always be above suspicion of irregularity or bias otherwise they will lose their ascendancy and authority to compel the other branches of government to action.

It is for this reason that inhibition, an act where one restricts or excludes one’s self from participation in an activity – in this case judicial process, is an accepted practice among judges and prosecutors.

* * *

Does boredom wear you down or is there just a nagging feeling that you want to get away from the metropolis and be with Mother Nature?

Then go and visit Bato Springs in Barangay San Cristobal, San Pablo City.

Located at the foot of the mystical Mt. Banahaw, Bato Springs is just one hour and 30 minute drive from Manila.

You have a spacious parking space that could even accommodate tourist buses and first class amenities for all your business and pleasure needs.

For more information call Ms. Elaine Garchitorena at 0495620976.

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