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Ramos: Don’t drag Puno into politics

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 14:26:00 01/20/2009

Filed Under: Politics, Judiciary (system of justice)

MANILA, Philippines — Former president Fidel Ramos chided groups urging Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno to run for president in 2010, saying they should do the magistrate a “favor” by allowing him to do his job instead of dragging him into the political ring.

“Do him [Puno] a favor. Let’s do him a favor. Let him do his job as chief justice. Then, after he retires, then you can do anything,” Ramos told reporters in Malacañang, on the sidelines of the annual Vin d’Honneur for the diplomatic corps.

“Naka-pwesto pa, gumagawa ka ng storya, pare e. Salamat po. [You’re making up stories while Puno is still in office, friend. Thank you],” Ramos said.

As talk of an attempt to impeach Puno swirled, for allegedly sitting on a high court decision on an election case, Senator Panfilo Lacson and the political party Ang Kapatiran urged the chief justice to run for president.

A drive for two million signatures has also been launched to convince Puno to seek the highest office in the land.

The reported effort to impeach Puno triggered suspicions among administration critics that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s allies want the chief justice ousted to ensure a favorable ruling on Constitutional amendments, an issue expected to be brought before the tribunal in the run up to 2010.

Ramos said he saw “many” viable administration candidates for 2010, but refused to give names.

He also said that the opposition should learn from the 2004 elections, when it failed to field a single candidate against Arroyo.

“But if you add up their combined votes, it may have exceeded the difference between President GMA [Arroyo] and the next highest presidential candidate. It’s a matter of logic and math,” Ramos said.

The opposition in 2007 was split between movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., Arroyo’s closest rival who died seven months after the elections, and Senator Panfilo Lacson.

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2009-01-20T07:03:50+00:00UTC01bUTCTue, 20 Jan 2009 07:03:50 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am01

Posted in Uncategorized

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