Chief Justice Puno: 'Social volcano' on verge of eruption
Puno made no mention of what those wounds were, but the Supreme Court will likely be a deciding factor in diffusing tensions caused by the burgeoning political crisis that has gripped the nation.
Opponents of the constituent assembly resolution passed by the House of Representatives
last week are expected to question before the Supreme Court any attempt to call for a plebiscite ratifying Constitutional amendments passed by the assembly.
Public anger is growing over widespread perceptions that congressional allies are maneuvering to prolong President Gloria Arroyo’s stay in power. A wide array of groups converged in Makati’s financial district last Wednesday in the biggest political demonstration this year.
Isang bansa na hindi sinusunod ang mga batas, isang bansa na sirang-sira ang moralidad dahil sa corruption
Organizers have promised more to come if the House insists on pursuing Charter change through a constituent assembly when Congress opens in July.
"Nararapat na pigilin ang napipintong pagsabog ng isang social volcano sa ating bayan (We should stop the social volcano from erupting)," Puno said in a speech at the 111th Independence Day celebration at the foot of the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City.
Elsewhere in the speech, Puno compared the country itself to a volcano: “Isang bansa na gaya ng isang bulkan ay tila handa nang sumabog."
"Let us heal the land, hilumin natin ang sugat ng pagkakawatak-watak," Puno continued. “Wag na tayong nagbabangayan, wag na tayong nagi-insultuhan, ‘wag na tayong magbabatuhan ng putik (let us heal the wound caused by dissension. We should stop quarreling, stop insulting each other, stop mudslinging)."
Puno avoided any specifics that would indicate what his sentiments were on Charter change, but he had strong words for the corruption and law-breaking he says are rife in Philippine society.
"Isang bansa na hindi sinusunod ang mga batas, isang bansa na sirang-sira ang moralidad dahil sa corruption," Puno said.
In addition to heading the third co-equal branch of government, Puno has often used his position as a pulpit to call for a moral regeneration in society, even naming public personalities who could lead a “moral force movement." Some analysts have interpreted these statements as trial balloons for a potential run for the presidency.
Political leaders since the time of Ninoy Aquino in the Senate in the early 1970s have evoked the image of a “social volcano" as a way of calling attention to growing public unrest.
A prominent opponent of the House con-ass resolution, Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, actually beat Puno to the metaphor recently, asserting that “the social volcano that this injustice and arrogance will create will explode in their face," referring to her pro-constituent assembly colleagues in the House. - Amita Legaspi and Howie Severino, GMANews.TV