The political landscape erupted against the perceived political move to impeach Chief Justice Reynato Puno. GMA has to distance herself hastily. However, from the immediate and furious denial of Malacañang, methinks the lady doth protest too much. The chorus of denials from mentioned and suspected key proponents only strengthened the conspiracy thesis that came out in the media. The “impeachment conspiracy” against Chief Justice Puno may now be considered “Dead Before Arrival.”
What is not dead is the charter change initiative which–whether it likes it or not–puts the Supreme Court in the spotlight. Conspiracy theorists would likely point to the recent appointment of Sandiganbayan presiding justice Diosdado Peralta as the new link to the building of an “Arroyo Supreme Court” that may presumably support a constitutional interpretation of a one-body constituent assembly voting jointly. The latter is a crucial requirement because of the Senate’s unequivocal opposition to a GMA charter change.
The Peralta appointment is more or less expected and he only replaces a perceived pro-GMA justice. The more crucial appointment is the one who will replace Justice Azcuna who will retire on February 17. The latter is well-known for his independent decisions which invariably went against the cherished policies of Malacañang.
Puno’s “impeachment” scare may be over but the pressures on the Supreme Court are certainly not over. Chief Justice Puno’s call for moral support underscores the urgent need to maintain the Supreme Court’s independence and adherence to constitutional democracy.