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Estrada wants Supreme Court justices recused.

MANILA, Feb. 14 Kyodo

A lawyer for ousted President Joseph Estrada on Wednesday filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to recuse Chief Justice Hilario Davide and Associate Justice Artemio Panganiban, saying the two justices are suffering a ''serious perceptual problem.''

If the two justices were to recuse themselves, they would be disqualified from passing judgment in the case, currently before the court, that challenges the legality of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's presidency.

''Recusation would negate any undue reflection upon'' Davide and Panganiban ''and should, in fact, even underscore and enhance their repute for integrity and uprightness among those concerned, and should maintain unsullied our people's faith in justice,'' said Rene Saguisag.

''It would show the duo's complete detachment and prove they take interest in cases as an admission of incapacity to render impartial rulings,'' he said.

Saguisag had earlier filed a petition seeking an explanation from the Supreme Court on the legality of the presidency of Arroyo, who took over the country's top post Jan. 20, after Estrada's term in office was cut short by a massive ''people power'' protest that forced him out of the Malacanang presidential palace.

Declaring the presidency vacant, Davide administered Arroyo's oath of office Jan. 20, several hours before Estrada and his family left Malacanang.

Panganiban and Davide have already commented on the petition concerning the legality of Arroyo's presidency, Saguisag said.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Feb 19, 2001
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