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More fiction than fact

/ 05:12 AM September 06, 2018

I am one of the readers following retired chief justice Artemio Panganiban’s Sunday column for insights into how our justice system works.

Alas, quite a number of things he has written about only deepen my disenchantment as I learned more fiction (about what ought to be) than fact (about what is actually happening).

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In his latest article (“Restoration of seniority and collegiality,” 9/2/18), the eminent jurist wrote: “… the senior justices are looked upon as ‘little chiefs’ who prudently guide the members in arriving at speedy decisions that are consistent with existing jurisprudence.”

With five brilliant minds working together in a division (or 15 if en banc), “collegiality” is supposed to ensure the best quality and “consistency” in decision-making.

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But how does Panganiban explain the glaringly contradictory decisions rendered by the divisions on the same issues, and worse, the seemingly blind concurrence of their members?

It is as if they don’t really care how the other divisions are ruling on anything. Such instances are quite numerous, thereby making jurisprudence far from being “well-settled” but virtually a pastiche of  nauseating “doctrines.”

Lawyers battling each other in court have a field day pointing out diverse rulings that make everyone’s head spin!

And speaking of “speedy decisions,” what has been done about the enormous backlog of moss-gathering cases still unresolved for 15 to 20 years in patently “culpable violation” of the Constitution that requires the Supreme Court to decide cases within two years only?

Justices retire and receive tens of millions in monetary benefits, paid for by hard-working taxpayers and without ever being made accountable for their lackadaisical performance.

That’s the ethical norm prevailing in our highest court of law and justice? What are they “supreme” for, really?!

RIMALDO PACIFICO, [email protected]

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TAGS: Artemio Panganiban, Inquirer letters, Rimaldo Pacifico, Supreme Court, With Due Respect
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