Fierce discussions at SC truly amazing
Fierce discussions at SC truly amazing PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 April 2018 14:28

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free…” (Ephesians 6:7-8, the Holy Bible).

-ooo-

QUALIFICATIONS ONE NEEDED TO BECOME SC JUSTICE: So the Filipino nation may know what was at the base of the heated and often fiery exchanges in Baguio City on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 in the quo warranto case against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal Sereno, we are hastening to clarify here that pertained to the basic qualifications that a person must possess before he or she could be installed and then allowed to continue being a justice of the tribunal.

The qualifications are spelled out by Section 7 (1) of Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution, which says: “No person shall be appointed Member of the Supreme Court or any lower collegiate court unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.

“A Member of the Supreme Court must be at least forty years of age, and must have been for fifteen years or more, a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines…” On the other hand, under Section 7 (3), Art. VIII, it is there required that a member of the Supreme Court must possess “proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence…”

-ooo-

FIERCE DISCUSSION AT THE SC WAS INDEED AMAZING: During that hearing on April 10, 2018 on the quo warranto petition that was filed by Solicitor General Jose C. Calida, Filipinos were treated to a highly extra-ordinary, amazing, and unprecedented opportunity (or, without any similar incident in the past) to witness how the justices of the high court deliberated on cases pending before them. In the past, these deliberations were held exclusively behind closed doors, in utmost secrecy.

Indeed, what the Filipino nation witnessed on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, partook of a real street brawl, as it were, complete with insulting and scathing words. This prompted many to ask me thereafter with this question: did not this rare display from the tribunal diminish the integrity of the court and eroded the character of the justices? From where I sat, I believe not!

The truth is that, I expected that kind of a fierce skirmish among the magistrates. To my mind, it was but natural and fitting that such a bombastic and emotional exchange should occur among them in deliberating on the cases that they would ultimately resolve,

especially one that involves one of their kind. What they showed to all and sundry on Tuesday proved, beyond reasonable doubt, that there is freedom of intellectual discourse in the Court, and only the views and positions which were studied well and most appropriate would be the ones to reign.

-ooo-

IT WOULD STILL BE THE MAJORITY’S DECISION THAT WILL PREVAIL AT THE SC:

The only problem here was that, for the clashing justices, no matter how good or how sound their arguments may have been, and no matter how well they’ve put their perceptions across, it would still be the position espoused by a majority of them that would have to prevail.

What I mean here is, no matter what directions the discussions of the justices may have taken, they would still have to come to a bend—that of voting for the final position of the court.

The position, in any given case, that will be supported by justices numbering 50% plus one will be recognized as the judgment of the Court, which will become law of the land and which would have to be  obeyed by everyone in the Philippines after that judgment is promulgated. Because of this, what we should all wait for in the case of Sereno would be the result of voting among the justices.

What is my fearless forecast on the ultimate destiny of the quo warranto case against Sereno? Well, there would only be two possible results here—either victory or defeat for Solicitor General Calida, or victory or defeat for Chief Justice Sereno. Whatever this final result may be, I can truthfully say, without any fear of contradiction, that the true beneficiaries of this episode in our history would be the Filipino people themselves, because many legal issues have been resolved in the case of the chief justice.

-ooo-

FOR QUESTIONS, REACTIONS: If anyone would like to ask me any question about what the burning issues of the  day mean, or what we have discussed here, or to consult on any problem, whatever it maybe, please call 0917 984 24 68, or email me at batasmauricio@yahoo.com, or post your concerns at www.facebook.com/attybatas.  Promise, I will answer right away. Thank God in the Name of Jesus, Amen!