Time to convene for CA abolition but none for ML grounds review

12:04 AM June 26, 2017

Lawmakers have been expressing their thoughts on martial law (ML). Individually, through press interviews or statements. But why, oh why, can’t they meet, exchange views, and vote as a deliberative assembly on the floor? That’s what we pay them—as our leaders—for.

Are they out of town, out of the country, or out of this world? I fear what they fear is lack of quorum. Still, even merely to change the name of a street requires a quorum, and recorded voting, as depositions for history. I think we deserve to know each lawmaker’s recorded stand on changing from normal life to a martial law existence. They have to find the time to meet, vote and explain.


Instead, almost 200 congressmen, wherever they are, not happy with a Court of Appeals (CA) order, reportedly want it dissolved. Santa Banana. You and I may move for reconsideration of an adverse ruling or go up to the Supreme Court.
We may even file an administrative case, or as the “Bigger House,” the “Echo Chamber,” contemptuously proclaims, file disbarment cases against offending justices. But you and I must keep it confidential, as required by Section 18 of Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court.

But representatives, led by scofflaw Speaker Bebot Alvarez and Rep. Rudy Fariñas see themselves as “MAD,” Mga Anak ng Diyos, who may ignore rules enacted by the Supreme Court.


Congress enacted just four laws after one year, it is reported. Instead of lawmaking, it has been far busier investigating in aid of something, like reelection. And traveling. And threatening the Court of Appeals in our decaying society.

How does the Court of Appeals rank in the hierarchy anyway?

Piqued Speaker Alvarez, the “Tsikboy” who heads the Echo Chamber, should stop petulantly threatening the statutory Court of Appeals with abolition. The Chamber’s remedy is to go to the constitutional Supreme Court, which the “Echoes” cannot abolish. This is the civilized institutional arrangement, to correct errors of lower courts. Supreme Court errors, of course, become the law of the land.

Abolishing the Court of Appeals may lead to chaos in the administration of justice.

In Watergate, a lowly undistinguished district judge, John Sirica, ordered President Richard Nixon to turn over certain tape recordings and papers. The power of the equivalent of a Regional Trial Court judge to so order was sustained by the federal Supreme Court, unanimously, on July 24, 1974.

Sirica was a former boxer (like Manny Pacquiao). I have a sense that Congress may not want to convene now. “Cuz, we’re entitled to private time,” the lawmakers may chorus.

Pacquiao’s excuse may be: He needs to make money for his family and cannot be disturbed. Fine, but pay your taxes naman sana.


R.A.V. SAGUISAG, Palanan, Makati City

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TAGS: Court of Appeals, Inquirer letters, Inquirer Opinion, Mindanao martial law, Rene A. V. Saguisag
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