No stopping recall of midnight appointments

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2010 11:28 AM | Updated as of Aug 16 2010 09:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The Aquino administration will continue to implement the recall and revocation of midnight appointments made by the previous leadership in the absence of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) from the Supreme Court, a Cabinet official said.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Monday the recall and revocation will continue, but "it will be done with more prudence, dahan-dahan lang at hindi yung biglaan at lahat-lahat na."

De lima said that in the absence of a TRO, nothing is keeping the administration from implementing the Executive Orders (EOs) questioned.

She lamented why these EOs are "not being given a chance" considering that there is wisdom in these and the motive is good governance."

The justice secretary stands by EO 2 on the recall of the Arroyo midnight appointments because, she said, this new government has to trust its people in key positions.

She added they also want to make sure these officials share the new leadership's vision.

This, she said, is why "binubusisi ang mga appointments na kwestyunable naman talaga dahil nakapaloob sa ban na nakasaad sa Constitution (from March 11 onwards) at halatang inihabol lang gaya ng mga na-appoint earlier than March 11, pero halata na hinabol lang talaga na makaupo."

She said the public should also scrutinize the motive behind these appointments as well as the motive behind those who question the executive orders. 

Eddie Tamondong, acting director of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), and Assistant Secretary Jose Arturo de Castro of the Department of Justice earlier filed separate petitions before the Supreme Court questioning the legality of President Aquino's Executive Orders 2 and 3.

EO 2 revokes the midnight appointments made on or after March 11, the antedated appointments, and appointments and promotions made during the period of 45 days prior to the May 10 elections in violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

EO revokes President Arroyo’s Executive Order 883, which automatically vests lawyers occupying legal positions in the government executive service “who have obtained graduate degrees in law and successfully passed their bar examinations” with the rank of CESO III.

Supreme Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez earlier said the Aquino administration should maintain the status quo until the Court has issued a ruling on the petitions questioning the two executive orders.

“It would be more prudent to maintain status quo in the meantime considering that the Court has already acquired jurisdiction over that case and the Court has already required the executive secretary his comment within a non-extendible period of 10 days,” Marquez said.