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Friday, January 6, 2012

UP lawyer to SC spokesman: Shut up and ship out

UP Law Professor and human rights lawyer Harry Roque assailed Supreme Court Administration and Spokesman Midas Marquez for acting as the personal spokesman of impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“Marquez has no business serving as the personal apologist of the embattled Chief Justice. He should be speaking for the entire Supreme Court, not just Corona, and explaining collegial decisions, not just the views of his boss,” Roque said.

“Worse, by defending Corona to the hilt using the Supreme Court as his platform, Marquez is practically saying that there’s nothing wrong with culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the people’s trust and graft and corruption for which Corona now faces an impeachment trial by the Senate,” Roque pointed out.

Roue added also reminded Marquez that “the impeachment of CJ Corona has absolutely nothing to do with the workings or decisions of the SC, thus he has no business speaking out on Corona’s impeachment in his capacity as SC spokesman.”

“Marquez has blatantly blurred the lines separating the duties of an SC spokesman from that of a private spokesman or lawyer who should be doing the talking for CJ Corona pertaining to his impeachment,” he stressed.

“Let Corona’s designated private lawyers speak for him, not someone who is paid his salary with taxpayers’ money,” Roque said.

Roque added that Marquez may even be held criminally liable for overstepping the bounds of his duties. “After all, the personnel, offices and other resources of the SC cannot be conscripted or used in defense of any members of the high court facing impeachment, whether he be the Chief Justice.”

“Marquez will end up a towering disgrace to the lawyering profession if he insists on acting as Corona’s spokesperson and repeating the same chicanery and falsehoods peddled by his boss,” Roque said.

“From one lawyer to another, here’s my friendly advice to Midas: ‘Shut up and ship out’. Either you resign and join Corona’s legal team or shut up and stop dragging the entire Supreme Court in your obvious attempt to please your boss”, Roque said. Aileen R. Garcia, Program Officer, Center for International Law (CenterLaw)

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