5/19/2018

Et tu, Supreme Court?


One word is missing from this old phrase dating back to 1707: judge, jury, and executioner.  Please add: accuser.

That’s what the Supreme Court of my beloved Philippines has become: accuser, judge, jury, and executioner. The judges ousted Maria Lourdes Sereno, the Chief Justice (CJ), via quo warranto* (QW) in vote of 8-6.

The role of the Supreme Court, the last time I looked, is judge—final judge in all cases involving laws of Congress, and the highest law of all, the Constitution.

Accuser?

Some of the judges, on live TV, testified against the CJ in a house impeachment hearing. It was my first time to see Supreme Court justices up close so I was riveted to the boob tube. From the replays, which I again watched closely, it was obvious that some of them had personal gripes against the CJ.

Judge?

The CJ therefore asked that these judges, who appeared on air, to inhibit themselves from the voting in the QW. They did not. These same accusers acted as judges, and predictably, they voted in favor of the ouster petition. Judges, as universally defined, are impartial decision-makers in the pursuit of justice.

Jury?

Same as judge, since the Philippines has no jury system. 

Executioner?

Universally, again, an executioner is defined as an official who carries out a sentence of death on a legally condemned person. The Supreme Court judges legally condemned the CJ, and carried out their sentence of death by ousting her.

From the point of view of ordinary citizens—who oppose the manner in which the CJ was ousted—the death sentence was on the whole judiciary, because it was executed by the country’s highest judicial court. 
In a world of betrayal and bitterness among ordinary citizens, I can only ask “Et tu, Supreme Court?”

A pall of doom has been cast upon our democratic system. As a believer of grace, however, I have absolute faith in the justice of the one true Judge.

“For the LORD is our judge, The LORD is our lawgiver, The LORD is our king; He will save us . . .” Isaiah 33:22  (NLT)

*QW can be filed against a “person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office, position or franchise.”


No comments: