There’s The Rub



There’s something deeply disgusting about the way Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s justices flailed at Justice Secretary Leila de Lima last week. What’s disgusting about it is not that they should sit in judgment over De Lima and put on airs of being lofty and authoritative. What’s disgusting about it is not that they should sit in judgment over De Lima and say things like, “The way you interpret the law shows that you are more powerful than the Court.”

What’s revolting about it is that they should sit in judgment. Over anyone.

What’s wrong with the picture is that Arroyo’s justices should presume to think they might still sit on the dais, gavel in hand, and prescribe God’s justice upon the world. When they have only earned the right, or duty, to wear sackcloths and beat their chests, crying “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa,” before the people and/or flagellate their bare backs with thongs of crystal shards, dull-edged or not, preferably not, all the way to Christmas. Arroyo’s judges should not be doing any judging, they should be standing on the dock awaiting judgment. They should not be doing law, they should be doing time.

I don’t know that De Lima is more powerful than the Court. I do know that reason is more powerful than the Court. I do know that historical experience is more powerful than the Court. I do know that common sense is more powerful than the Court. Law that is not based on them is not law, it is lokohan. Yet reason and historical experience and common sense are the very things Arroyo’s justices mean to banish from this earth, presuming themselves to be more powerful than them. About time we made them resign.

Renato Corona to begin with.

The point is not just for him to inhibit himself from any case involving Arroyo. It has gone past that. The point is for him to resign from the Court as a matter of duty, or from life as a matter of honor. Though the second is probably out of the question, honor precisely being the one thing he lacks, which is the very reason we should make him resign from the first.

The Chief Justice is the epitome of virtue, or should be, the one person you go to as a last resort, when all else has failed, to right a wrong, to find justice. The Supreme Court is the repository of wisdom, or should be, the one place you go to as a last resort, in the belief that it is a fund of insight and a wellspring of broadmindedness. How find that from the one person Arroyo appointed as a last resort, the one person Arroyo goes to as a last resort when everything else has failed, to wrong a right, to dodge justice? How find that in that one place that has been bought like scrap metal por kilo?

You don’t need to speculate on it. In all the 19 cases against Arroyo brought before the Supreme Court, Corona never once voted against her. That’s right, never once. The score is 19-0.  The score is all for Gloria, none for glory. The score is all for one, none for all. That includes not quite incidentally government’s petition revoking Arroyo’s midnight appointees, of which Corona stood first in line. Of course Corona voted against it. He should inhibit himself from rendering judgment on the fate of Arroyo? He can’t even inhibit himself from rendering judgment on the fate of himself.

That’s true as well, to varying degrees about Arroyo’s other appointees to the Supreme Court, who dominate the Court. Eight are particularly rabid Arroyo fans. Quite apart from Corona, they are: Roberto Abad, Jose Perez, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Presbitero Velasco, Arturo Brion and Martin Villarama. So long as they’re there, so long will they make black white, wrong right, vice virtue. So long will those who need judging be judging.

The courts like to talk of “the fruit of the poisoned tree,” of evidence that may not be admitted because its source is poisonous, because the fruit of a poisoned tree is itself poisoned. Can there be a more poisonous tree than Arroyo? Can there be more poisonous fruits than the justices she spawned?

I applaud De Lima for standing her ground against the Court. Arroyo’s justices have no business being there. They are not trotting out arguments, they are trotting out paid advertisements. There is no constitutional crisis, nor will De Lima spark one by her intransigence. To speak of constitutional crisis is to dignify Arroyo’s justices’ position. It is to imagine that there is an iota of principle in them. It is to forget that they are coming from a tainted source. It is to forget that they are tainted.

We’ve seen what they’re doing once before. In Arroyo herself, like Marcos, justifying tyrannical rule with one law after another and daring the world do something about it. Well, I don’t know why government shouldn’t do something about it. I don’t know why we shouldn’t do something about it.

De Lima has already done so, stood her ground and bid Arroyo’s justices croak in the rain. Implicitly of course. But more can be done.

I don’t know why the Ombudsman cannot look into the earthly possessions of Arroyo’s justices and see if the scale of their opulence is compatible with the modesty of the income judges are supposed to get, however high up they go. I don’t know why we ourselves cannot move to make Arroyo’s justices accountable to us. It’s time they became so: For too long have they themselves gotten away with crime without punishment. There is a chief justice higher than Renato Corona and he is called Juan de la Cruz. There is a court higher than the Supreme Court itself, and it is called The People. I don’t know why we cannot shame them to the depths of their being. I don’t know why we cannot rouse ourselves to heights of indignation, and with the force of unrelenting fury force them to:


Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Augusto Ramos

    mr quiroz…kumusta na ang kapatid mo sa SSS..sarap ng buhay nyu ngayon no?hehehee

  • LevyBelaro

    Basura na ang tingin ng nakararaming Pilipino sa presenteng Supreme Court.  Umaalingasaw na sa baho ang kanilang sobrang pagkampi sa mandarambong at mandarayang pekeng presidenteng Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the most UNPOPULAR President, next to Marcos, in the history of the Philippines, dahil sa kasinungalingan, kaplastikan, pagnanakaw at pandaraya.  Sino ba ang nasa tamang pag-iisip na Pilipino ang papanig sa ganyang klaseng tao?  Dinaya ang eleksyon 2 beses, alam ng lahat ng mga Pilipino na dinaya ni Gloria Arroyo si FPJ.  At dinaya din niya ang 2007 election.  Sobrang ginago ni Arroyo ang mga Pilipino, at hanggang ngayon ginagago pa rin niya sa pamamagitan ng kanyang mga alipores at galamay niya sa Supreme Court.  Pati Constitution ng Pilipinas, ginawang basura ng Supreme Court (Arroyo Supreme Court) dahil ginawang legal ang illegal na MIDNIGHT APPOINTMENT.  Hindi kailangang mag-aral ng 8 taon sa abogasya para maintindihan ang maliwanag na sinasabi ng Constitution na BAWAL ang Midnight Appointment!  Pero bakit ginawang legal ng Supreme Court ni Arroyo ang maliwanag na BAWAL na sinasabi ng Constitution… ISA LAMANG ANG DAHILAN, para masunod ang AMO NILANG SI ARROYO.

    Ang hindi naiintindihan ng mga Justices ay hindi sila untouchable na gaya ng akala nila.  Kapag napuno ang taumbayan sa lantaran at tahasang pagkampi nila kay Gloria, ang pagkasuklam ng mga Pilipino kay Kapal-muks na si Gloria Arroyo ay mapupunta sa kanila, and they will go down in history as one of the most UNPOPULAR and DESPISED Supreme Court sa Pilipinas

  • AntiAko

    TUMAHIMIK NGA KAYONG LAHAT: kung tutugisin ni Pnoy ang lahat ng mga corrupt sa Pilipinas malamang walang natira: sa batasan, sa senado, sa hudikatura, sa palasyo, sa deped, sa dpwh, sa afp, sa pnp, sa gsis, sa pag-ibig, sa ched, sa mmda, sa ….

    pati siya dahil lahat yata ng politiko namili ng boto sa eleksyon. korupsyon din yon…

  • romfagen

    Sa klase ng character ni GMA…

    …hindi malayo ang posibilidad na yung mga appointed nyang justices ay yung mga Bayarang klase. Mga Hoodlums in Robes.

  • indiosbravos2002

    I am sure the SC Justices are now in a state of shock.   They are now out of their comfort zone. There was a time wherein their voice is law.  They are infallible.  No one dare to cross the SC.  Even the best lawyers will cower in fear of being cited in contempt or be disbarred.  

    Right now the SC is being taken piece by piece by the executive and the legislative for violations that they themselves committed. PNOY hitting Corona for unjustly being biased in favor of GMA, Castillo in trouble because of plagiarism.  Skeletons slowly being exposed. Hopefully, soon we will see the true loyalties of the 7 Arroyo appointees… to themselves when they abandon Crona and Arroyo and try to save their as$es.

  • RonaBacay

    Now that GMA at hospital arrest.. i hope no more excuses from the
    in alleviating poverty. I’m not asking zero eradication,, just show even little
    19months setting in Malacanang is enough .. please Mr. President move onnnn

    Stop your tirade with SC for the cause of HACIENDA LUISITA..
    You are President of the Philippines ,, not only for your family. Our
    family voted you with expectations believing that you can do a lot ,,
    mabawasan ang kahirapan.. Please start now.. wag sana darating time

  • ala_ehhhh

    Mr. de Quiros, you clearly made your point. However you forgot something. Those Justices are shameless and will not budge even a little with your tirade. You should expect those HOODLUMS IN ROBES to fight to the very end. Poor Filipinos!! We have yet to see the worst.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks

May 24, 2015

Feeling good