Obiter shows poor quality of SC deliberations

/ 12:55 AM August 14, 2014

Allow me to react to the letter of retired Court of Appeals justice Ricardo Pronove Jr. (“Understanding the DAP ruling,” Opinion, 7/30/14).  I totally agree with him that the “offending” statement in that ruling had no place in a decision that would eventually form “part of the law of the land.” By any standard of fair play, good faith should always be presumed until bad faith is proven.  It cannot be the other way around.  I learned that as part of “jurisprudence” in first year law school and continue to learn more of it in my second year now.  That “obiter dictum” attributing bad faith to the executive branch was uncalled for and out of line.

In his separate opinion, Associate Justice Arturo Brion was more implacable and sarcastic. With President Aquino being “untouchable” during his term, Brion wanted his point man, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, punished instead. Brion’s closeness to co-fratman and ousted chief justice Renato Corona is, of course, well-known.


Yet, it was a unanimous decision supposedly rendered en banc—meaning, a full Supreme Court of 13 justices (with one vacancy and one justice inhibiting for personal reasons) went over the issues raised in that case. That none of the “brilliant” justices noticed that sore thumb sticking out reflects on the quality of “deliberations” in the decision-making process of the highest court of the land!  This is not to say anything yet about its frequent flip-flops!  Can anyone still rely on “jurisprudence”  (settled doctrines gleaned from its past rulings), considering that the Supreme Court also renders decisions by whatever mood or temperament the justices find themselves in at any given time?  As a law student, I really find that depressing.



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TAGS: Arturo Brion, Court of Appeals, dap, Disbursement Acceleration Program, florencio abad, Ricardo Pronove Jr., Supreme Court
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