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Pinoy lawyers who are professionals from another planet

/ 12:16 AM April 15, 2016

Forum-shopping at its worst—in the Supreme Court no less? That is, if what the Supreme Court was said to have suggested in “SC in turmoil: Justices bicker over Poe ruling” (Front Page, 4/10/16) is accurate. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said those who are not happy with the current 9-6 majority ruling declaring Grace Poe qualified to run for president can always try to raise that issue again in the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), which is the “sole judge” of all contests relating to the qualifications of a president.

The PET eggheads are the same 15 members of the current Supreme Court. What does that mean? The PET is energized when a case is filed against a proclaimed president. Poe detractors have gleefully taken that to mean that they can refile their disqualification cases in the PET in case she wins, and hope that two justices will change their mind to shift the balance against Poe: 8-7. Seriously, how much different is that from a refiling of the same case in the same court after a new (friendlier?) judge is appointed?

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The Supreme Court is ordained by the Constitution as the final arbiter and interpreter of the Constitution. Since that Court has already declared Poe “qualified to run for president,” it is binding on everyone and all agencies of the government, including the PET which is but an adjunct (an appendix or now, an appendicitis, if you will) to the almighty Supreme Court! Nine justices have already categorically ruled with finality that Poe can run for president. Laypeople (read: the vast multitude of us who ratified the Constitution) with enough common sense understand that to mean she has all the qualifications to be president! But lawyers, experts at obfuscating everything, keep insisting she may be qualified to run for president, sure, but not necessarily qualified to become president if she wins! Huh? What planet are these lawyers from?

—ANGELI O. MARCONI, [email protected]

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TAGS: Constitution, Elections 2016, forum shopping, Grace Poe, Lawyers, Supreme Court
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