BAGUIO CITY — The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) with its Baguio-Benguet chapter slammed moves to impeach Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, saying that it may yet be another part of the Arroyo administration’s game plan for charter change.
Presently, 12 out of 15 SC justices are appointed by Malacañang. Seven justices are set to retire this year, with the High Court awaiting impending appointments.
Concerned citizens groups as well as lawmakers have expressed vigilance with regard to the upcoming SC appointments, anticipating Malacañang’s moves to tighten its hold over the judiciary.
According to CEGP national president Vijae Alquisola, “Fears of an Arroyo-controlled Supreme Court are ripe and not entirely baseless. SC Chief Puno has proved his independence from the Arroyo administration hence these attempts to malign him and remove him from his post.”
Cielo Bayson, CEGP BB secretary general adds, “Puno’s record has clearly reflected the people’s stand in matters like human rights where he forwarded the use of the Writ of Amparo. Surely, Arroyo had been wanting to cover-up her dirty record and carry on with the charter change as election time approaches.”
Alquisola questioned the timing of moves to oust Puno, with the Supreme Court seen as the last frontier to enact Arroyo’s unpopular bid for charter change for term extension.
“With the Senate’s united stance against cha-cha, Congress is left with no choice but to bring the matter to the SC. Only Arroyo and her allies would benefit from a Puno ouster,” said Alquisola.
The CEGP hails SC Chief Puno as one of its outstanding alumni. He was editor of the Philippine Collegian during his stay in the state university. #