MANILA, Philippines - After openly criticizing him during last Monday's justice summit, President Aquino said he is open to sitting down with Chief Justice Renato Corona and talk.
"Of course," Aquino said, when asked if he would be open to take up the offer of Catholic bishops to broker talks between the President and Chief Justice Corona.
But Aquino said this would not stop him from "posing questions" to the Supreme Court over its recent decisions against the Palace on a number of issues.
Aquino cited the High Court's decision that struck down the executive order forming the Truth Commission that would have investigated allegations of corruption during the Arroyo administration.
"After they ruled against the Truth Commission, hindi kami nang-away noon. Itong all of these decisions na nag-iimpact on the executive's ability to govern-baka may motion for reconsideration-pero hindi kami nang-away pa rin doon. Pero kung mahaba-haba na ang listahan, hanggang saan ba 'yung para bang co-equal kami? Andaming kuwestyunable at tiiis na lang nang tiis. Hindi yata 'yun 'yung nakasaad sa Saligang Batas. Kaya nga may checks and balances, 'yung kung may palagay kaming mali, ay dapat namang tutulan," Aquino told reporters.
Aquino did not give a direct answer when asked if he was laying the basis to have the Chief Justice impeached following his speech on Monday at the National Criminal Justice Summit where he railed against the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice.
"Pwede bang sabihin ko na lang na nag-umpisa ako sa mga tanong at medyo parami-rami itong mga tanong na tila walang katugunan, walang sagot. Meron tayong nakasaad sa Saligang Batas na checks and balances," Aquino said.
When asked if he would tell his allies in Congress to support any move to impeach the Chief Justice, Aquino said: "I do not tell you my plans or anybody else. Basta at this point in time, it is important these questions should be propounded and that's the only thing I did."
In his speech Wednesday at the awarding of the 2011 Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives awards in Malacanang, Aquino reiterated his promise to run after those who have done wrong, saying that the people are behind him.
"Handa po tayong makipag-tuos kahit kanino dahil alam kong nasa likod ko po ang sambayanan sa paghahangad ng katotohanan, sa pagnanais na parusahan ang mga nagkasala at sa pangingibabaw ng katarungan sa ating bayan. Sila po ang mga boss natin at sila ang tanging makakapagdikta ng direksyong dapat nating tahakin," Aquino said.
"Ginagawa po natin ang tama at mananatili po tayong tama sa tuwid na landas. Hindi po natin tatantanan ang mga kawatan, ang mga nagtatangka pang manlinlang sa taumbayan," he said.
Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez was present during the occasion to represent the Supreme Court as part of the of the national awards committee.
Aquino shook the hand of Marquez during the photo opportunity.