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Delays in court are no longer a surprise

/ 01:39 AM April 30, 2015

In the news report “3 CA justices cleared of ‘delay’ rap,” (News, 4/20/15), the Supreme Court was said to have dismissed a complaint against Court of Appeals justices for their “inordinate delay” in resolving a case before them, in violation of the constitutional mandate which requires them to do so within 12 months. Why were we not surprised?

Letter-writer Gabrielle Aguillera did us a favor by reminding us, in “SC can ignore Charter, jurisprudence as it pleases” (Opinion, 4/20/15), about what former commissioner Bartolome Fernandez of the Commission on Audit revealed in a commentary (“What about the Supreme Court,” Opinion, 5/9/13), to wit: “The Supreme Court justices never pay heed to the constitutional directive for them to resolve cases within 24 months! If that is not willful violation of the Constitution, then what is?”

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Until the Supreme Court itself starts setting the good example by honoring the Constitution, not only when it is convenient for its justices to do so but more so when it is inconvenient, it cannot have the moral authority to tell the lower courts to do what it is miserably failing to do itself! If the jaded magistrates themselves are no longer up to the task, is not the next best thing to do obvious enough? Incumbent judges and justices who feel that the work is too much for them should give way to others who can do something about the endless backlog of cases. If they wouldn’t do so voluntarily, they should be fired or shamed into resigning!

As for the Supreme Court magistrates themselves who think they are untouchable, is “culpable violation of the Constitution” not a good enough ground for impeachment? Public confidence in the present justice system is at an all-time low. Quick “justice” is only for the rich (e.g., just look at the speed with which the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court secured multimillionaires like the Binays their “day in court”!); the rest of us just have to wait until hell freezes over! What is happening to this country?

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—RAMON N. TORREFRANCA, [email protected]

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TAGS: court delays, Court of Appeals, Supreme Court
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