Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Dangerous move

Impeachment of Corona? 
By Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star)

There’s widespread talk that 90 Congressmen are preparing an 8-count impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona which will be sent to the Senate without going through the Committee on Justice.

If true, it would be a most damaging act to the independence of the Supreme Court. It would be a blatant abuse of the constitutionally ordained system of checks and balances and inter-branch comity. It may set the table for a revolutionary government.

Fortunately, it will require a vote of 16 Senators to oust the Chief Justice which will be extremely difficult to achieve. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senators Chiz Escudero, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Joker Arroyo, Gregorio Honasan and Alan Peter Cayetano have been critical of the President’s twin attacks on the Supreme Court.

Aggravating the situation is the advanced move to impeach SC Justice Mariano del Castillo for plagiarism.

 Having a Supreme Court controlled by the President introduces a clear and present danger to the legislature itself and could lead to a dictatorial government.

As our fellow columnist Prof. Alex Magno observed:

 “The President may privately disagree with some of the Court’s rulings but republican ethics prohibits him from publicly disagreeing with them. It is the Court, not the President, that is entitled to rule with finality on legal and constitutional disputes. Otherwise, the rule of law dissipates and everything becomes a matter of pedestrian opinion or political popularity. That is the ground on which despotism grows.”

Hold your horses, honorable Members of Congress. Unwittingly, you may also be diminishing the equal standing of the legislative branch.

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