Does Aquino get advice from his Cabinet?
I have no love lost for Chief Justice Renato Corona, but the way he took President Noy’s verbal assault on him in public bespeaks of his gentlemanly nature.
Corona could have walked out—and he had all the reason to—but he didn’t.
He took the intense attack calmly.
His remark when asked by reporters his reaction to the President’s speech was conciliatory: “Just let it be. It’s almost Christmas. Let’s think peace.”
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Had the Chief Justice walked out of that conference while the President was lambasting him, the public would have understood.
It was like a host embarrassing an important guest at a party in front of other visitors when the latter accepted the invitation to the party with alacrity.
The summit was sponsored by the Department of Justice.
Some participants in the conference noticed Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s discomfort at the situation; she was seen cringing, apparently with embarrassment.
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A lawyer told me that had the Chief Justice walked out of the First National Criminal Justice Summit while he was being attacked by a coequal official, most of the magistrates and lawyers present would have followed him to the exit.
Even lawyers in the executive branch would have joined the walkout, a government lawyer said.
No matter how he regards Chief Justice Corona, any lawyer would have found the President’s attack on the highest magistrate uncouth.
An insult to the Chief Justice is an insult to the whole legal profession since he is the highest-ranking lawyer, according to a government lawyer.
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Does P-Noy get advice from his Cabinet members who are lawyers on how to treat the Supreme Court, a coequal branch in government?
We can’t blame P-Noy for being ignorant of legal etiquette, or whatever you call courtesy, since he is not a lawyer.
Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa, the primus inter pares, or first among equals, in the Cabinet, should have advised the President against embarrassing the Chief Justice in public.
Ochoa is a lawyer and a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University College of Law, one of the country’s premier law schools.
He would have done the President and the legal profession a great service had he advised his boss against delivering his scathing speech at the Criminal Justice Summit.
Ochoa can’t claim ignorance of the President’s plan to attack Corona since even this columnist knew about it days before that historic speech from a little birdie in Malacañang.
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P-Noy’s rating is still high in the latest popularity survey despite his unpresidential and uncouth public behavior.
Oh well, what can you expect from the respondents in the survey?
They chose people like them to high elective positions.
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The Army high command shouldn’t have allowed Sarangani Congressman and world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao to wear his lieutenant colonel’s uniform wearing long hair and a moustache.
By allowing long hair and a moustache on Pacquiao at the “donning of rank” ceremony, the Army high command was in effect saying there are exceptions to the rule in military discipline.
But no person who wears the military uniform, especially that of an officer, should be exempted from military discipline.
Otherwise, we might as well disband the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which is supposed to epitomize discipline.
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