More disturbing SC rulings
Supreme Court mouthpiece Jose Midas Marquez decried as “disturbing” President Aquino’s recent outbursts against the Supreme Court for virtually behaving like an “Arroyo Court.” Fr. Ranhilio Aquino of San Beda Graduate School of Law and Fr. Joaquin Bernas of the Ateneo College of Law are similarly disturbed. Let’s look at the fact of the matter.
When the Department of Justice barred former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from leaving the country on suspicion that she was fleeing from criminal prosecution for plunder, Arroyo’s appointees/loyalists in the Supreme Court immediately sprang to action to issue a temporary restraining order, thus giving her the green light to go wherever she wanted. It did so purportedly on the basis of her constitutional right to travel and time-honored jurisprudence that only the courts can issue hold-departure orders.
Much earlier, when Renato Corona’s “midnight appointment” as chief justice was challenged before the Supreme Court, Arroyo’s appointees/loyalists in the Supreme Court circled the wagons and ignored the constitutional mandate prohibiting appointments within two months prior to a presidential election.
Has it not yet become obvious that the present Arroyo-appointed loyalists in the Supreme Court respect and disrespect the Constitution and jurisprudence as they see fit for their “little queen”? Legal scholars like Father Aquino and Father Bernas should rethink where their fealty lies: to the Constitution or the “crown”? That is really more “disturbing,” not only for the law students in both schools, but for all of us!
—GEORGE DEL MAR,
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