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article imageLowest-ranked officer to administer oath to Philippine president

By Leo Reyes     May 14, 2010 in Politics
Apparent president-elect Sen. Noynoy Aquino is breaking tradition by having a non-supreme court justice administer his oath of office when he takes on his new job as president of the Philippines.
Senator Noynoy Aquino, a 50-year old bachelor who will soon assume the highest position in the Philippines by virtue of his landslide victory in the May 10 election, said he will take his oath of office as the country's most powerful person before a Barangay Chairman, instead of taking it traditionally before the chief justice of the supreme court.
A Barangay Chairman is the lowest-ranked government official in the bureaucracy next to Barangay councilmen.
The apparent president-elect said there is no law that prohibits the taking of oath of office before a Barangay Chairman. The apparent president-elect has opposed the appointment of a new chief justice of the supreme court days before the term of office of the incumbent president.
President Gloria Arroyo whose term ends on June 30, 2010 has appointed Renato Corona, an associate justice to the position of chief justice of the supreme court. Corona used to work with Arroyo as her chief of staff before his appointment to the supreme court.
Justice Renato Puno, the incumbent chief justice of the supreme court is retiring on May 17. Political opposition says Arroyo should let the incoming president appoint the new chief justice of the supreme court
Arroyo is facing high profile court cases once she losses her immunity from suits when she steps down from the presidency. The opposition believes a friendly supreme court justice could let her off the hook when the cases reach the supreme court for final decision.
Aquino agreed that Arroyo’s appointment of Corona was a "declaration of war’’ against his incoming administration.
"But more than anything , given the fact she probably assumes she’ll be facing a whole ton of cases, a whole lot of them, she is looking for sympathetic or friendly faces from those who will (try) her case. I think she did this for personal interests again rather than national interest," he said.
Malacanang Palace maintained that the apparent president-elect may be violating the constitution by allowing other public officials to administer the oath to the new president instead of the chief justice of the supreme court.
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