I cannot properly situate myself over the decision of the SCORP, declaring EO No. 1 creating the Truth Commission by President Aquino, unconstitutional, much that I would like to take side on the issue.
Creating the TC headed by EX-CJ Hilario Davide, Jr., and retired Justice Romeo Callejo Jr. to investigate GMA, is like choosing the devil, while declaring it void so it cannot investigate her, is choosing the deep blue sea – either way, the Filipinos are dead.
It is tragic how our leaders continually feud at our expense. They have no moral remorse treating their public office their private preserves and flaunt their power with arrogance and present their distasteful conduct as patriotic act for the greater good.
CJ Davide, Jr., is the architect of the ‘constructive resignation doctrine’ that judicially deposed Erap Estrada and paved the way for Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s ascension to Malacanang and he has to answer yet of what he did in 2001 with the judicial welfare funds; while Justice Callejo Jr., is one of the judicial architects that invented the term ‘technical extortion’ so that I can be suspended for one year from the practice of law. You can examine the jurisprudence of the most civilized world and read your political, legal ethics, civil, and criminal law books forward and backward but you cannot find the etymological origin of ‘constructive resignation’ or ‘technical extortion’ for the simple reason that there is no such thing – legally or doctrinally – they were pure concoctions of these Olympus Gods, who think they can conjure up any concept that comes into their mind and ram it through the throat of the litigants and get away with it. They have no concept of accountability and responsibility, just plain display of rudeness and antipathy to both reason and logic and the splendor of being addressed ‘your honors’ despite their being dishonorable.
Pulling the rug from under the TC headed by Davide, Jr. and Callejo, Jr., by the Court now headed by CJ Corona is also another way of saying your turn was over, it’s our’s now. You see clearly that these jurists have no sense of righteousness or even an institutional affinity that they can stab at each other’s back with impunity. You could just imagine had they been enemies.
If one think there is a difference among the Davide Court; Puno Court; and the Corona Court, one is in for a big surprise. The magistrates in these three courts belong to the same group of callous and arrogant individuals or simply vicious fiends.
Another bureaucrat near Pasig river loves to throw his weight around that while Trillanes and his group were being processed by the Court for ‘coup de’tat, subversion, rebellion’ or what not, he tried to pull the rug from under the judiciary by announcing to the public that Trillanes and his cohorts were not guilty of any crime. Not content with his interference with the judicial process, he granted these ‘mutineers’ amnesty, posthaste.
The Court is suffused with humiliation where in not too distant past, PNOY took his oath of office before a jurist with intransigence behavior towards her Chief Justice. But the SCORP can let go of its ruffled feathers, had not PNOY tinkered with the judicial purse.
The political landscape is ripe for sweet vengeance!
But while PNOY acted within his right to exercise his presidential prerogative to pardon these ‘mutineers’ or to control the budget not only of the judiciary but also the obscene bonuses of the officials of government-owned and controlled corporations and monopoly utilities in the light of the suffering of the ‘madlang people’ , the SCORP, exercises power not within its textual domain by intruding into the area exclusively for the Executive.
And while it has framed the debate over the creation of the TC as being a violation of the principle of ‘separation of powers’ it sees nothing wrong in declaring a purely administrative determination of the executive to look into allegations of corruptions by previous power-holders unconstitutional. But its spokesman, Maria Victoria Gleoresty S. Guerra, lost no time in telling the media that the ruling is not yet final and that the Executive has fifteen days to file a motion for reconsideration. It gives you an eerie feeling that the resolution nullifying the creation of TC was a judicial blackmail and it is now inviting the executive to discuss the matter through the backdoor and give its requested budget back.
Meantime, this recent imbroglio gives you a sense that the SCORP has recovered from its unwavering distortion of the constitution when it speaks of ‘equal protection and due process’ as additional basis for TC’s dissolution only to be jolted from your stupor that it was again another perversion of the sacred law of the land.
But mind you, the SCORP, with its low public rating is willing to slug it out with the President, whom so far has a favorable public rating.
Let us examine this recent perversion of the constitution.
Before a Petition is acted upon by the SCORP over the issue of whether an act of Congress or Executive violates the constitution, it is imperative that the 3-part threshold test of standing, ripeness and justiciability/redressability be met.
Standing: If the TC is tasked to look into various alleged plunders of GMA, then Edcel Lagman, and a couple of his colleagues in the house, though they could clearly qualify as GMA surrogates, have no standing to challenge EO No. 1. They have no legally protected right that will be derogated by the creation of TC, because they have alleged that it singled out only GMA. Only GMA can have that right.
Assuming for the sake of argument that GMA has the standing to challenge EO No. 1, she cannot do so because the TC was only in its preparatory stage. No actual summons was issued against her, nor an actual investigation is being made against her. The threshold test of ‘standing’ is likewise absent.
Ripeness: Assuming further that an investigation was being conducted, the result of such investigation is only recommendatory. No actual case of plunder is filed because such duty belongs to the Ombudsman or to the Department of Justice. Again, there is no imminent threat of prosecution against whoever is being investigated by TC and there are no legally protected rights that are being invasively derogated that is ripe for review by the SCORP.
Redressability: Is the harm alleged capable of being remedied by declaring EO NO. 1 unconstitutional? There is no harm yet because TC has not yet convened, no one has been summoned, and no one has been indicted because of its recommendation. It is highly speculative for the SCORP to say that it violates the equal protection clause of GMA because TC, by certain stroke of fate could have simply cleared GMA for plunder, after all, Davide, Jr., was her erstwhile ally.
From where I sit, GMA has been overly protected. Her equal protection right, ironically, is something that most of us cannot equally enjoy. Ordinary mortals could be provoked into doing the most venal evil and if you plan to sue them they can demand likewise from the SCORP equal protection GMA had enjoyed. You wish you could, but you could not. There is a law for the poor and another for the powerful. Only inda Pinas!