Atty. Midas Marquez, Spokesman of the Supreme Court, declared “constitutional crisis” was material and existing in this present administration. (Paraphrased)
In general point of view, “constitutional crisis” means that the “rule of law” has been neglected, bypassed, disrespected, unobserved, twisted, fabricated, and both literally and figuratively abused.
In (specific) legal point of view, “constitutional crisis” means more than actions and implications abusive, demeaning, inimical, challenging, repressing, and threatening to the independence, freedom, impartiality, integrity, and exclusive authority of a co-equal institution of the government
For Judiciary, it is an “intermittent attack to the Constitution, to the legal system, and to the autonomy of the institution; for Executive, it is neither a crisis on the rule of law; nor a crisis on whatever respects of the law but just adherence to the “check and balance” clause prescribed by law.
Who’s hitting the bull’s eye with a bang?
Whoever in the legal profession, academe, business, and even in the housekeeping can perceive, feel, and understand that our country is suffering not only a political disease but also a constitutional crisis.
Aquino Administration’s Claims?
Expressly, the alleged Aquino administration’s attack, intermittent attack to the judiciary can be perceived rooted from what Aquino claimed, “midnight appointment” of the chief justice of the Supreme Court. This claim became pregnant and then gave birth to another claim, various claims that implicate loss of confidence, trust, and integrity of the Supreme Court to the public.
The public, generally, are either knowingly or unknowingly participated in to either support what Aquino claimed for or condemn those claims. On this respect, we must give to the public the “benefit of the doubt.”
To recall, the Judiciary has been slashed of budget; the latter has expressed disappointment and a commencement of an “attack” to the financial autonomy by the Aquino administration.
Then came the arrest of Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The public and the legal communities, local and abroad, witnessed how Aquino administration simplified the rule of law to serve their interest.
Justice Department stretched out its authority in defying or disrespecting the Supreme Court’s issued Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the former Watch List Order.
What made the Supreme Court to issue TRO amidst the Aquino administration underlying grounds to hold Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et al?
Simply, the Constitution protects individual from any possible abuse of authority from the state.
Any individual is guaranteed of his/her right to travel except in the cases that the subject is an affront to the national security, health, etc.
Any individual is protected under the Constitution through “presumption of innocence and respect for human rights” until the subject is proven guilty of the charges.
Any individual, under the Rules of Court, is entitled to be protected from incurring future irreparable damage and shall be guaranteed an equal protection of laws, due process, presumption of innocence, and also shall be guaranteed of his/her Constitutional right to travel except in the cases when the subject has been charged filed in any competent court of jurisdiction.
Since the Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s case that time was categorically and substantially qualified for the remedies every individual is entitled of under the Constitution and in the Rules of Court, the Supreme Court, with its decision is concurred after deliberation of the justices, can not be construed guilty of being biased.
Aquino administration, again, is short of substantive legal reasons.
The rest are now manifestations…
It started out when Mr. Aquino lambasted Chief Justice Renato Corona during the 1st Criminal Justice System, the public and the three co-equal institutions of the government (Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary) can interpret and understand Aquino’s actuation as an “attack” to the Judiciary. Whatever Aquino administration’s explanation to the incident, still it was either an “attack” or simply an “attack”; no other diplomatic term can describe it at its very least impact to the Filipinos and to the international communities.
Who has the accuracy to conclude that the Judiciary can no longer decide cases impartial?
Then, whose face infested of shame, impatience, uncontrolled and “unlikely” behaviour at that very moment?
Aquino administration may laugh at it loud; Judiciary may accept it as arrogance, attack, and simply immaturity.
Whatever may we think of it, the public, still, think of it as “unlikely” behaviour of the president that can be prejudged as “abuse of authority” and “disrespectful act” that in turn, apparently, gave birth to the impeachment of the Chief Justice.
Whatever Aquino administration’s explanation to that, still it can be presumed that Aquino has exhausted all his resources just to serve his interest using the interest of the public as foundation of his actions.
Expressly, came the impeachment case against the Chief Justice. Again, the public and the international communities witnessed the “railroading” process of the case in the lower house.
Whatever Aquino administration’s defences of, still, they simplified the rule of law to serve their interest.
Although the Rules of Impeachment allows one-third votes enough to pass and endorse the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate, the process the chairperson of the House Justice Committee utilized and defended DOES NOT SATISFY OR SUBSTANTIATE THE ACCESSORIES OF THE PROCESS. I will stand by that!
Then, what are those accessories of the process?
Rules of Impeachment is designed, built, and founded based on the Constitution. The bedrock of principles of the Constitution is democracy, equal protection, due process, and protection of human rights.
For democracy to exist and due process to serve, the House Justice Committee shall present the Articles of Impeachment to all members of the House for deliberation or whatever means for them to study the case and decide BEFORE PROCEEDING TO A POLITICAL PROCESS OF DECIDING THE CASE BY GARNERING A MAJORITY VOTES.
However, the lower house (infested of Aquino allies), has VIRTUALLY passed the impeachment case, simplifying (euphemism for “railroading”) the rule of law.
Again, Aquino administration is short of substantive legal fortitude.
Considering the enumerated grounds for impeachment in the Articles of Impeachment, the following are some of eight (8) articles discussing the three (3) grounds for impeachment found by the House Justice Committee strong and impeachable: (Please note that other remaining grounds not included are redundant to other grounds. I just picked out one of the analogous to the other in terms of legal basis and the other one different from the other since the majority of the grounds of impeachment lies on “purely” court’s decisions.)
- Chief Justice failed to publicly disclose his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth
- Chief Justice failed to account for the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) and Special Allowance for the Judiciary (SAJ) collections
- Chief Justice recalled decision on the case of FASAP vs. PAL, Inc., et al
- Chief Justice issued decision in favour of the Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through issuance of Temporary Restraining Order
- Chief Justice decided cases and issues in favour of the Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The three grounds for impeachment constituted in the eight articles where manner of committing as such are: (a) Betrayal of public trust; (b) Commission of culpable violation of the Constitution; (c) and graft and corruption.
Apparently, majority of the above grounds of impeachment is impeachable IF AND ONLY IF the Judiciary is not a co-equal institution having the sole authority to interpret laws, try cases as the last court of resort, and decide cases in the context of the “rule of law”.
For who has the capacity and integrity to assess the interpretation of the law? Is it the Congress or the Executive?
Apparently, the above grounds of impeachment can be interpreted as discriminatory, baseless, weak, and an affront to the sole authority of the judiciary to interpret laws.
Anybody of clear thinking of the simplicities and complexities of laws and the Constitution can attest the grounds as technically and substantially WEAK.
“Midnight Appointment” issue has decided already with the confirmation of the Judicial Bar Council (JBC) -– an independent body that nominates candidates for appointment.
Declaration of Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth is required Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. Fortunately, Chief Justice Corona said in his speech this afternoon that he has complied this requirement long before the impeachment against him looms. In addition, JDF and SAJ issue is a minor, trivial ground for such case since Judiciary has fiscal and institutional autonomy guaranteed by the Constitution.
Finally, Supreme Court’s decision is a collegial decision. Associate justices and the chief justice as well deliberate points of laws involving, relevant and related to the case they are deciding upon. The decision of the Supreme Court is not a decision of the chief justice ALONE.
In addition, recalling decision signifies the dynamicity of the independence of the Court. The Court, also, has the authority to repeal, recall, and modify decision based upon the present conditions and requirements of the law.
Also, recalling decisions of the Court is affirmed and concurred by the majority of the justices after deliberations on the finest strands of the law are substantiated.
Then, what’s the point of questioning the Court?
Who, again, has the capacity and authority to question the decision of the highest court of the land commissioned by the Constitution to have that sole authority as such?
Again, is it the Congress or the Executive?
We hope that Mr. Aquino will understand, of course, not now, but by and by…
Now, who says that “Constitutional crisis” is farce, invented, and only a dream? Who says that Philippines isn’t presently suffering of that institutional ailment? Then, who says it is?
Manifestations of “attacks” from Aquino administration from “railroading” to “railroading” of the rule of law, whatever the administration may call and defense it, STILL, an “attack” to the independence of the co-equal branch of the government.
Understanding and interpreting the above scenario is OUTRIGHT an “attack” to the judicial system impacting to a “Constitutional crisis” Aquino administration vehemently DENIES and REFUSES it so!
Then, what were Filipinos and the international communities knowingly and unknowingly witnessing at?
Chief Justice Corona simply puts it this way in his speech this afternoon: Mr. Aquino is propelling his own version of “creeping martial law” inspired by greed of power and desperation to fulfil his “baluktot” na “daang matuwid.” (Paraphrased)
We can still remember how the rebirth of the Philippine democracy and the rule of law restored after the fall of a dictator. The late Corazon Aquino is an emblem of unity and moving on, not of DIVISION and POLITICAL VENGEANCE…
Had the late Corazon Aquino still alive today, witnessing her son at that such “commendable” actuations and decisions, she might have ended “crying under the bed” or “praying” for her son’s enlightenment…then walk away…
- Impeachment Passed by Congress Is DISCRIMINATORY, LACK OF LEGAL FORTITUDE; Philippine Legal System May Now Be, DEAD?. “Mainbar” by Regel Q. Javines.
- The DOJ and Its (Seems to Be) Ignorance of the LAW: Will It Excuse Sec. De Lima from the Dilemma of Justice Apprehension?. “Mainbar” by Regel Q. Javines.
- Aquino and DOJ’s Dillydallying over Arroyo’s Medical Travel Request: A BLATANT CONTEMPT for a Constitutional Right!. “Mainbar” by Regel Q. Javines.
- Aquino Allies Ready Impeach Express vs CJ. Global Balita. The Daily Tribune. December 12, 2011.
“Mainbar” by Regel Q. Javines.
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Filed under: Laws and Jurisprudence, Politics and Government Tagged: | analysis, betrayal of public trust, Constitution, Constitutional crisis, House Justice Committee, impeachment of Corona, mainbar, rules of court, rules of impeachment, supreme court impeachment, Topacio