Secretary Raul Gonzalez' take on the present controversy regarding Gregory Ong's appointment to the Supreme Court is patently absurd.
Ong, presently a Justice of the Sandiganbayan, may in fact be a Chinese citizen and, therefore, not qualified to sit in either the Sandiganbayan or the Supreme Court.
Newsbreak reported that Gonzalez favored Ong's appointment:
"You have to consider also the repercussions. What about all the cases that Justice Ong had decided already? Supposing you are a convict of Justice Ong you will certainly demand that there's a new trial and how many cases are those?" Gonzalez said.
He said that for practical reasons, it would be better to accept Ong's contention that he is a natural born Filipino citizen considering the impact on the cases that he had ruled on and the possibility that those he had convicted could seek a new trial. But Gonzalez indicated that it is best to resolve the matter because "there will always be something hanging over his head."
Secretary Gonzalez defies common sense. Evidently, he would sooner disregard the Constitution and the rights of the wrongfully in favor of practicality.
The issue regarding Ong's citizenship should be settled now. He sits as a Justice of the Sandiganbayan for several years, possibly in contempt of the Constitution.
I doubt that Kilosbayan's petition, stopping Ong's appointment to the Suprme Court is the right way to settle the issue of Ong's citizenship. There is no present case or controversy considering that fact that Malacanang has recalled the appointment. The Supreme Court is likely to dismiss Kilosbayan's petition. There is always the possibility that the Supreme Court will craft an exception in this case and hear the petition anyway, but the better course of action seems to be a case questioning Ong's qualifications as a Justice of the Sandiganbayan. His presence in the graft Court presents a genuine issue that should be settled as soon as possible.