A warped sense of justice
I’m afraid that the arguments raised by Amando Doronila in his Nov. 25 commentary, “Triumph of mob rule,” are shot with holes and cannot pass careful scrutiny.
Doronila claims that the Aquino administration has mounted a “savage attack” on the Supreme Court for issuing a TRO which would have allowed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to leave the country. There is no “savage attack” on the Supreme Court. Had she been allowed to fly the coop, justice would have been perverted. The government only wanted to prevent this.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was absolutely correct in preventing Arroyo from leaving the country and quite possibly seeking asylum abroad. As Associate Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno pointed out, the TRO was not “immediately executory” as one of the three conditions for it to take effect—i.e., the designation of a legal representative to receive court summons and orders—had not been satisfied. The Supreme Court later voted to agree that that particular condition was not met. Hence, De Lima should not be held in contempt of court.
What’s clear is that the Supreme Court acted with undue haste in issuing the TRO on the watch-list order on Arroyo. The eight justices who agreed to the TRO’s issuance did so even without hearing the other side, in this particular case, the government. They issued the TRO on Nov. 15 even without waiting for the oral arguments they themselves scheduled for Nov. 22. If this is not rushing the TRO, how else would Doronila describe it?
It is facetious for Doronila to cry mob rule when it was the eight Arroyo appointees, like thieves in the night, who issued a TRO in violation of due process which they themselves have sworn to uphold. Doronila should not be surprised that civil society groups have banded together under the Bantay Gloria Network to see to it that she does not avoid prosecution by fleeing abroad. This is not mob rule, this is plain and simple justice being demanded by an outraged citizenry.
Where there has been crime, there should be punishment. Is it mob rule when people demand accountability for the actions of their leaders? Certainly not. If Doronila thinks so, then he has a warped sense of justice and a distorted concept of what is right and what is wrong.
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