By Raymund Antonio
Vice President and opposition leader Leni Robredo expects that newly-appointed Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta would set aside his personal affiliations now that he heads the Supreme Court.
“Ang dami na naman speculations ngayon na lumalabas. Nakikita ko sa Facebook, nakikita ko saan-saan may mga pictures si Chief Justice with the Marcoses na siya nagpanumpa dati. Labas ito sa kung anuman ‘yung mga affiliations before,” she said on Sunday.
(Many speculations have been coming out. I have seen on Facebook, everywhere the pictures of the Chief Justice with the Marcoses that he administered the oath of office. This is beyond his affiliations before.)
“The fact Chief Justice siya ngayon inaasahan natin na ang ipaglalaban niya hindi naman iyong personal niyang mga preferences pero ang paglalaban niya iyong integrity ng institusyon,” she stressed.
(The fact he is now the Chief Justice, we expect he would not fight for his personal preferences, but he would fight for the integrity of the institution.)
Robredo was asked on her “BISErbisyong Leni” radio show about the appointment of Peralta as chief justice of the SC, which now handles the election protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against her.
President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Peralta, an Ilocano who will serve as Chief Justice until his retirement in March 2022, replacing Lucas Bersamin, who retired last week.
Peralta was a prosecutor, trial court judge, and member of Sandiganbayan special division, which found former President Joseph Estrada guilty of plunder in 2007.
In the SC, Peralta wrote the controversial ponencia on the decision allowing the hero’s burial of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The Vice President reminded the top magistrate how important is the public perception about the judiciary and the institution.
“Iyong lahat naman ng aksyon niya, hindi na ito personal niya lang ‘yun pero magiging actuation niya parati may impact ito sa pagtingin ng tao sa judiciary,” Robredo said.
(All of his actions are no longer just personal, but his actuation will always have impact to the perception of the people on the judiciary.)
“Alam niya naman na lahat ng mata nag-aabang so tingin ko hindi naman niya isusugal iyong buong institusyon dahil sa kanyang sariling preferences,” she added.
(He knows all eyes are watching so I think he would not gamble away the whole institution because of his own preferences.)