Have the Supreme Court justices no better use of their time?
Rogelio Vinluan, a prominent lawyer, put it boldly and correctly: “Much ado about nothing” (Opinion, 9/24/15). He remonstrated against Supreme Court justices squandering precious time on so much “nonsense.” Grappling with issues like the “visual corridor” of the Rizal Monument and Sen. Grace Poe’s so-called natural-born citizenship amid more pressing problems, the justices should really get their priority straight.
During his watch, Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban disclosed that the Supreme Court had a backlog of more than 6,000 cases! That number may have doubled already—alas, “mission impossible” for 15 justices! Why? Because justices have continued to this day to ignore the constitutional mandate for them to resolve cases within two years.
The “issues” raised in the Torre de Manila case involve facts that are no longer in dispute. In Poe’s citizenship case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), three justices have to take their leave from Supreme Court duties, required as they are as SET members to attend hearings thereat. In both cases, all that really needs to be done is to apply the pertinent laws which we are sure well-paid legal researchers already have at their fingertips!
To be sure, there is really nothing earthshaking about those cases. It’s all media hype! Enough has been said already in the pleadings and memorandums. Why the need for endless “oral arguments” that mostly just repeat what lawyers have already written? As reported in the trimedia, nothing new is being said there. Have the justices no better use of their time? Pity the parties whose cases have no publicity value—they are dying of old age and still waiting for their cases to be resolved!
—ULYSSES B. UY, [email protected]
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