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Shame on lawyers for silence on ‘twisted ruling’

/ 12:01 AM September 03, 2015

The Aug. 24 Inquirer editorial, “Twisted ruling,” showed us how flawed the Supreme Court ruling was in allowing Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile bail in a nonbailable case where he is accused of pocketing a huge chunk of the P10 billion lost in the “pork barrel scam.” The Sandiganbayan had denied him bail, having found strong evidence of guilt against him.

In reversing the Sandiganbayan, the Supreme Court found nothing wrong with the graft court’s findings. Instead, it engaged in so much gobbledygook, the most absurd of which being that the bail would “guarantee [his] appearance… at the trial”! Huh? What better “guarantee” was there than keeping him confined, guarded and under hospital arrest? But the Court (not only Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin as ponente, but also the merry band of seven other justices who concurred with him) brazened it out by stretching logic “beyond breaking point”!

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The editorial likened the decision to a previous ruling by the Court on the constitutionality of the “midnight appointment” of ousted chief justice Renato Corona—a decision where the reasoning would “shame a first-year law student” because of the “embarrassments” that it should have brought upon the justices they looked up to as “brilliant”! In that decision, for lack of better arguments, the justices made so much fuss over a no-brainer issue—the “sequencing” of the constitutional provisions! Practically those same justices banded together to come up with the Enrile bail ruling.

Most disgusting of all: The Integrated Bar of the Philippines has not expressed any alarm at the way the Supreme Court has, in the eyes of laymen, been insulting the intelligence of its members! Do IBP members really have nothing to say in the face of this monumental farce? Have they been really brainwashed into believing that the Supreme Court is “infallible” even when an absurd ruling is staring them in the face? Has passing the bar rendered them incapable of thinking for themselves? How can they help improve the administration of justice in this country if they continue to play dumb like this?

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Truth to tell, the Inquirer editorials (by nonlawyers!) are more vocal in their concern for the wellbeing of this country being left in the hands of such whimsical “gods of Padre Faura”! Lawyers, shame on you!

—MELISSA SY QUIATAN, [email protected]

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TAGS: Bail, Juan Ponce Enrile, Lucas Bersamin, plunder, pork barrel scam, Renato corona, Supreme Court
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