A DEEPER VIEW
By JESSE E.L. BACON II
It doesn’t need rocket science to understand that the combined wisdom of the country’s law school deans, professors and six Supreme Court justices is far better than the wisdom of eight justices who have proved themselves to be rogues in robe in regard the unconstitutional removal of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno from office through quo warranto proceedings.
That the eight Supreme Court justices have proved themselves rogues in robe is beyond any iota of doubt when they granted the quo warranto petition after making public their contempt for their Chief Justice whose appointment frustrated their dream of occupying her seat in their lifetime.
Apologists of the eight rogues in robe are pleading that we first read the majority decision and listen to reason why such unconstitutionality was reached. In social media language this plea of the apologists is called troll whose intention is simply to divert from the patent unconstitutional majority decision.
We should not even give the apologists’ diversionary tactic a chance to see light. It should be nipped in the bud, meaning, no discussion should be had to give credence to the constitutionally infirmed majority decision.
That the majority decision is unconstitutional is fact. Not because there were eight justices who said it is not unconstitutional makes the majority decision constitutional. The combined legal wisdom of the law school deans, professors and six justices who said the quo warranto petition is not the constitutional way to unseat constitutional officials such as the chief justice settled this issue in a very convincing manner.
The majority decision could be likened to the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal unseating Vice President Leni Robredo from her post because in the manual recounting of the protested votes the 25 percent shading threshold no longer applies but the higher 50 percent threshold.
The established constitutional manner in removing the chief justice is through impeachment. The established shading threshold that the automated machines could read was set at 25 percent on the day of election. Could both be changed because of the whimsical and capricious say-so of the majority of the Supreme Court Justices?
But going beyond the unconstitutionality of the majority decision lurks the bigger evil that we should all be alarmed and frightened about. The majority decision proved to all and sundry that we are no longer a country of laws but a country of men for it can’t be denied the sole person that led us all to this is President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
It is a settled fact that PDU30 declared himself Sereno’s enemy and thus ordered the fast tracking of her removal from office. What triggered his anger against the chief justice is of no moment. As a lawyer himself, PDU30 knows you do not remove a constitutional official simply because you have declared that official your personal enemy.
PDU30, however, has a track record of reacting negatively to foes, real or imagined. Will Sen. Leila Delima be in jail now if he did publicly make his contempt for her courage to stand up to him past and present?
What happened at the Supreme Court Friday last week was not just the unconstitutional removal of a sitting chief justice but the massacre of the nation’s institutions. We now have a strongman who did not have to do a Marcos to become such because of the people’s collective default in not opposing his authoritarian ways that started with his popular war on drugs that despite becoming bloody we still remained silent. (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org)
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