The President's Oath. I guess there is no more retreating from the President-elect's decision not to take his oath before Chief Justice Rene Corona and to do it instead before Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales. The reason given is that the President-elect does not accept Corona's support for the power of the president to appoint a chief justice during the constitutionally prohibited period and agrees instead with Justice Carpio-Morales' strong dissent. The President-elect is making Corona responsible for the act not of one person but of a majority of the Court. Very awkwardly, however, the entire Court is being invited to attend the presidential inauguration!
Admittedly there is no law requiring that the President take his oath before the chief justice. But there is something symbolic about the head of the Executive Department honoring the highest officer of the Judiciary. It represents not just respect between two persons but respect between two important institutions.
The crown jewels of Bernas's piece lies in this groundbreaking admission of Noynoy's emotional indulgence:
I just hope that, for the good of the nation, this is just a temporary emotional aberration which will not be determinative of other Supreme Court decisions in the future. We will see what happens if the decision in the Hacienda Luisita case will not be to his liking. The case is now in the division chaired by the Chief Justice.
That hope, Reverend is easily translated into action. We need to practice extra diligence in pointing out these things to our dear President. It is up to us to step up to that challenge -- no, that duty as participants in the running of a free society.
[Note: Boldface formatting on quotes added by author for emphasis.]