GMA TO HAVE FINAL SAY ON JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS - JUSTICE SECRETARY

 

MANILA, APRIL 3, 2010
(MALACANANG) PGMA to have the final say on judicical appointments-- Saludo Malacañang appreciates the legal opinions of Justice Secretary Alberto Agra on the matter of appointing judicial vacancies and the issue is being studied further by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for her final decision.

At a press briefing today, Presidential Spokesman Ricardo Saludo said the advices of Agra are welcomed even if the issues remain the subject of academic discussions but added that President Gloria has yet to make a decision on the question of judicial appointments.

Saludo said the President eventually will have the final say on the issue.

“Legal guidance does not mean presidential decision,’” Saludo Stressed.

The other day Agra gave the opinion that President Arroyo could fill up vacancies in the judiciary until her term ends on June 30, using the March 17 Supreme Court ruling which paved way for President Arroyo to appoint the next Chief justice.

Saludo said legal opinions may differ but “the prerogative to decide is still the President’s, she may or may not take a particular advice.”

Meanwhile, Saludo in behalf of the President issued a Lenten message asking for unity, peace and solemnity. Saludo said that truthfulness should not only be observed during Holy week but “it should be part of the political culture”.

He also reminded the candidates to refrain from campaigning this Maundy Thursday and Good Friday as directed by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to give time to people for prayer and reflection.

President Arroyo will probably stay with the first gentleman Mike Arroyo in St. Lukes this Holy Week, Saludo added.

FROM GMATV NEWS ONLINE

Arroyo ex-poll lawyer Alberto Agra is incoming SolGen SOPHIA M. DEDACE, GMANews.TV 01/07/2010 | 01:55 PM

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has appointed her former election lawyer as the new Solicitor General, replacing Agnes Devanadera who is concurrent Justice secretary.

[Photo at left courtesy of Ateneo School of Law: In a phone interview with GMANews.TV, Alberto Agra said he received a New Year’s message from the Department of Justice on Thursday morning, saying that he would be the head of the Office of the Solicitor General, the agency that represents the government in any litigation or legal matter.]

"I haven’t received the appointment papers yet. I’m just the incoming, but we don’t know if it’s really me," Agra said.

Agra, who heads the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, served as the President’s laywer during impeachment proceedings at the House of Representatives in 2006.

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal also told GMANews.TV that he and Agra represented the President in “election-related issues in 2004."

In March 2007, Mrs. Arroyo appointed Agra as head of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, the agency that acts as lawyers for government-owned and controlled corporations.

In June 2008, Agra quit as acting head of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Regulatory Office, owing to conflict of interest allegations.

Agra is a professor at the Ateneo School of Law since 1993. He teaches election law, the 1991 Local Government Code, Law on Public/Government Corporations, Administrative Law, and Law on Public Officers.

He was also an executive director of the Saligan, a civic organization offering legal assistance and doing developmental legal work with women, workers, farmers, fishers, the urban poor and local communities. - RSJ, RJAB, Jr./GMANews.TV


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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