‘Day of infamy’
Shock is the mildest word to describe how we feel after eight members of the Supreme Court voted to oust the Chief Justice in a manner which the Constitution does not provide.
But it was not unexpected as they have already expressed early on their personal dislike for their chief for whom they harbor envy, grudge and spite.
Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa put it succinctly when he said that, “No matter how dislikable a member of the Court is, the rules cannot be changed just to get rid of him, or her in this case.”
The eight associate justices including the “shameless five” (who even had the nerve to appear before the House committee on justice which was deliberating on the impeachment complaint filed before it by a publicity-seeking lawyer who served as an attack dog of this creeping conspiracy), have displayed utter disregard for the Constitution which they were supposed to defend, protect and uphold.
What baffled us most was the judgment of Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza who in our view should know more about the Constitution than the other seven, being a professor of constitutional law at the UP College of Law.
How can he expect his students there to believe what he teaches them now?
Persons who have been appointed as judges and justices should live a life detached from society. This is exemplified by the image of Lady Justice who is blindfolded so as not to distinguish between friend or foe, but see only the truth and be fair and just at all times.
They should live like the life of a “celibate” as the priests in the Catholic Church. But some of them have been seen and photographed socializing with politicians and persons with vested interests and have been known to have connections with persons who appointed them to positions in the judiciary.
“Members of the Court cannot and should not allow themselves to be used in ousting a sitting member upon the prodding of a mere agency of a separate coordinate department,” wrote Caguioa.
He must be referring to the “marching order” of President Duterte who expressed his anger at Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno where he said that “I am now your enemy.”
That fateful May 11, 2018, will be remembered in the history of this country as the “day of infamy,” the day when eight members of the highest court of the land conceded to the power of a coequal branch of government and spelled the death of democracy in this benighted land.
Shame on you, eight associate justices!
RAMON MAYUGA, email@example.com
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.