Putting justices in a bind
In the matter of the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against ABS-CBN, we venture to say that if he were not assured of support from a Duterte-appointed majority of the Supreme Court justices, he would not even think of resorting to such a tenuous and adventurous gambit.
In his earlier quo warranto petition against former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, it was quite obvious from the get-go that he had that support from a majority of the justices who had openly declared they could not stand Sereno, never mind the oath they took which should have disqualified them from the case for being unable to behave like “Caesar’s wife”!
In the Bisaya dialect, gilami-an ug nanganad na gyud (so happy with quo warranto he got used to it). But common sense should really have guided Calida’s actuations. Congress is about to do its job in just a matter of weeks when the network’s franchise would lapse (in March 2020) or get renewed for another 25 years. Is he really expecting that the justices would act on that petition sooner than Congress could act on the already pending matter for the ABS-CBN franchise renewal before it?
Calida most probably thinks Congress is such a snake pit he could not take chances with quite a number of its members already displaying some measure of disloyalty toward his boss and manifesting sympathy toward the beleaguered network. The pitch for an immediate franchise termination has turned out to be a hard sell.
Right now, it is discombobulating why Calida had to put the Supreme Court on the spot: to act positively and favorably on his petition immediately or be “killed” by President Duterte who, in due time, would be appointing anyone among them as chief justice, a post loaded with undeserved superperks and privileges and therefore to die for even if only for a very short period of time as recent history has proved!
GRACE PO-QUICHO, [email protected]
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