The Supreme Court has zero public approval that even if it is right, it is still wrong from their perception. The analogy with the flippant boy who cries wolf often is apt.
The accusation that Justice Mariano Del Castillo is a “plagiarist” taints the entire Court, or at least the majority that signed the decision. This judicial embarrassment could have been easily avoided had it simply denied the Petition of the comfort women abused by the Japanese during WW II by a minute resolution without the fanfare of misplaced erudition. It is ‘non-justiciable’, period. The SCORP cannot order the executive department, which is a co-equal branch to perform a purely political function dealing with foreign relations. This is exclusively an executive prerogative. That is all there is to it. But the Court went further and tried to explain its position and injected itself into this public debate where talking less could have been a better part of prudence.
But the SCORP cannot unceremoniously dispose of the case now by a minute resolution because it has in the past, been liberal in its incursions of both the territorial domains of the executive and congress. It found a ‘constitutional windfall’ that it can look into every act of co-equal branch of government to see if its official acts are within constitutional bounds or within the limit of acceptable notion of fair-play and justice.
The 1987 Cory constitution found its architects fresh from 13 years of Marcos martial law and vented their fury against the executive by giving the judicial department more power than what is necessary which is very destructive of a healthy constitutional government. They tilted the balance of power among these tripartite departments which are supposed to be co-equal, in favor of the judiciary and in the process, had created a judicial monster and now we are reaping the whirlwind of a portentous evil.
In the case of the LOLA’s, the Court was correct in dismissing the case from ideal constitutional framework. But then it may be asked, why did the Court chastise GMA for the botched MOA-AD, about the ancestral claim of the Muslims, and considered the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierez, and ERAP’s political saga, within its power to look into for “constitutional breach and/or arbitrariness?” Are these not political questions too which the court should in the first place refrain from taking up jurisdiction? Yes, they are, but the Court always meddles in every political fray of the nation because of this “constitutional windfall”.
The court’s hands are now tied. If it can pontificate on the act of GMA in trying to resolve the ancestral claim of the Muslims from the south being arbitrary and unconstitutional; it can order Congress to stop the impeachment of the Lady Ombudsman, or it can legitimize the appointment of Chief Justice Corona to the bench despite constitutional prohibition, why can’t it find the refusal of Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo to bring the case of the Japanese comfort women to the international court of justice arbitrary and unjust? This one has more compelling legal and moral grounds than all the others.
The SCORP has created in the mind of the public that it is all too omnipotent. Its sputtering now like a malnourished stallion in the stable is something the public cannot comprehend.
The SCORP is right this time, (in dismissing the case, but not on plagiarism), but it has been wrong most of the time and the public could not now distinguish the difference.
Wolf, Wolf, Wolf, cries the distressed boy, but nobody cares to listen anymore!