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Majority’s folly does not make the truth

/ 12:03 AM September 04, 2015

The rejoinder of Justice Lucas Bersamin to Justice Marvic Leonen’s critique of his (Bersamin’s) ponencia granting bail to Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, who is charged of the nonbailable offense of plunder, is as funny, nay, hilarious as the new Supreme Court doctrine he authored.

I will comment no more on why I think the freshly minted doctrine bearing Bersamin’s fingerprint is a rib-tickler. Enough has already been said about it—real good and exhaustive commentaries especially those expressed in the Inquirer that I don’t think anything more can be said to highlight the insanity in “doctrinum bersaminum.”

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I would rather comment on Bersamin’s rejoinder which, I think, the good justice must be straightened out about.

Firstly, Bersamin said Leonen went out of bounds when he revealed the inside story behind the crafting of the controversial ponencia. Citing a rule of court, Bersamin said Leonen had no business making public deliberations in the Supreme Court which is taboo, improper.

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Bersamin is wrong. The rule on “omerta” does not apply in all cases; in some cases it is superseded by the higher principle of transparency. How else will the people know they are not being shortchanged by the justices in cases of grave concern to them and the nation if they are not be given the opportunity to take a peek occasionally at its conclave-like deliberations?

Secondly, Bersamin reprimanded Leonen for lack of respect for the majority of the justices who concurred with his ponencia. Once the majority have voted on the correctness of the decision he authored, Bersamin averred, that is it; no more contrary view, no more whining from Leonen or whoever else. The majority have spoken and that’s that.

Let me cite a famous quote by a philosopher:

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to think with the majority merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not believed by majority of the people.”

That’s Guido Giordano Bruno, an Italian pantheist philosopher, poet and cosmologist who taught the plurality of inhabited worlds, the infinity of the universe and the truth of the Copernican hypothesis. He was burned at the stake in 1600 for refusing to go along with the majority of the ruling clique at the time, who maintained that the sun orbited around the earth instead of the earth going around it.

—MART DEL ROSARIO, [email protected]

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TAGS: Bail, Guido Giordano Bruno, Juan Ponce Enrile, Lucas Bersamin, Marvic Leonen, omerta, plunder, ponencia, Supreme Court
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