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Address Supreme Court’s case backlog

05:01 AM July 23, 2018

Has anyone in the consultative committee that drafted the proposed federal constitution ever thought of categorically disallowing the Supreme Court from messing around with the mandate to decide cases within a fixed period?

The 1987 Constitution provides that the Supreme Court “shall” (meaning, mandatory in all jurisprudence) dispose of cases within a period of only two years. But the justices have, to this date, continued making a mockery of that provision by sitting on so many cases for as long as 15 to 20 YEARS—thus virtually reframing (amending!) that provision from the original “shall” to “may” (meaning, just a suggestion).

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Not even the warning of retired chief justice Hilario Davide Jr. that they could all be impeached for “culpable violation of the Constitution” has deterred them from continuing to be defiant and arrogant vis-à-vis that mandate (“Davide: 8 anti-Sereno justices may be impeached,” News, 5/18/18).

Consequently, that high court’s backlog has ballooned to an unmanageable 7,000 or so unresolved cases, to great damage and serious prejudice to the people. If any “honorable” justice thinks he/she cannot handle that kind of judicial load, then, resignation is always an option.

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Justice delayed is justice denied. No form of government can eradicate that core anomaly in the justice system until it is dealt with head-on and more decisively.

JEREMIAS H. TOBIAS, [email protected]

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