Good Morning Judge: Undue arrogation of power

THE majority decision of the Supreme Court to grant the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Calida against Chief Justice Ma. Amparo Sereno to unseat her is unfortunate and sets bad precedent in our judicial system. As I have always maintained in my previous column in this paper, a Justice of the Supreme Court can be removed from office only through the process of impeachment before an Impeachment Tribunal in the Senate where Justice Sereno would have been given the opportunity to refute the charges lodged against her by the House judicial committee. By granting the quo warranto, the Supreme Court majority decision has arrogated unto itself the constitutional power of the Senate to hear and decide impeachment cases. Furthermore, the Associate Justices who appeared before the House Justice Committee and testified against Chief Justice Sereno and at the same time refused to inhibit in the quo warranto proceedings literally acted as judges and executioners at the same time. This indeed, is unprecedented. No wonder, the decision of the Supreme Court has resulted to a backlash and unfavorable public opinion against the highest court of the land as shown by the nationwide rallies against the Supreme Court by various opinion makers and legal luminaries interviewed on television like the ANC and the CNN Philippines. The most telling of which is the editorial of the Philippine Daily Inquirer issue of May 11. I believe that this is the darkest hour in the history of the Supreme Court and I really wonder how it can recover its lost glory. As we write this column, we are not aware if the Sereno camp will file a Motion for Reconsideration in the light of the fact that the Supreme Court decision is reportedly immediately executory. The SK and barangay elections are now over and reports of rampant vote buying during election last May 14 is flying high. Reportedly some mayors and other local elective officials took a hand in seeing to it that their supported candidates win the elections. Obviously, this is geared towards the coming provincial and municipal elections next year. TRIVIA: Through this column I wish to express my most sincere condolences in my own behalf and that of my spouse Minda to the bereaved family of our AdeNU high school ‘54 batch mate Frank Timoner of Daet, Camarines Norte who recently passed away. His remains lie in state at his family residence in Daet and internment is scheduled this coming Monday, May 21. His high school batch mates are scheduled to go to Daet this coming Saturday, May 19 for the vigil. QUOTATION OF THE WEEK: “DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR PROBLEM IN MATHEMATICS. I CAN ASURE YOU, MINE ARE STILL GREATER.” ALBERT EINSTEIN FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE: “THE WISE MAN HAS EYES IN HIS HEAD BUT THE FOOL WALKS IN DARKNESS.” ECCL 2:14