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SC can ignore Charter, jurisprudence as it pleases

02:42 AM April 20, 2015

Thanks to the Internet, we are now able to access practically any information regarding any matter under the sun, including past issues of the Inquirer. We googled that Inquirer letter to the editor “Court decision goes against common sense” (Opinion, 2/9/15), referred to by Ramon Torrefranca in his letter “Scandalous miscarriage of justice cries for pardon” (Opinion, 3/6/15).
Torrefranca wrote: “If the Supreme Court can no longer undo what it has done—to right its own wrong—due to technicalities of procedure,” presidential pardon is the only way to wipe out the scandalous injustice. I beg to disagree.  The Supreme Court can junk “technicalities of procedure” anytime, if it wants to, in the “substantial interest of justice.” In fact, being “supreme,” it can do anything, even ignore the Constitution!
In his commentary “What about the Supreme Court?” (Opinion, 5/9/13), former commissioner Bartolome C. Fernandez Jr. of the Commission on Audit revealed an eyebrow-raiser: “On one occasion, during a chat with a retired Supreme Court justice, I called his attention to the constitutional mandate for the Supreme Court to render decisions within 24 months. His retort floored me: ‘Alam mo Bart, hindi namin pinapansin yan.’” Straight from the horse’s mouth!
Thus, if the Supreme Court can capriciously ignore the Constitution, it certainly can set aside its own decisions on the pretext of living up to the nobility of rendering substantial justice. In fact, even on dubious grounds, it recalled a “final ruling on the PAL cabin layoffs” (“SC recalls final ruling on PAL cabin layoffs,” Front Page, 10/11/11) to the consternation of PAL flight attendants.  “Well-settled jurisprudence” holds that once a judgment becomes final, it can no longer be disturbed; but that has now been “unsettled” by the tail-ender “unless the Supreme Court says otherwise”! PAL was then represented by lawyer Estelito Mendoza whose mere letter was used by the Supreme Court as basis to set aside “jurisprudence”!—GABRIELLE M. M. AGUILLERA, [email protected]

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