Bencyrus Ellorin .
PEOPLE thought Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno is a goner with the House of Representatives obviously prejudging the impeachment complaint.
But CJ Sereno has been challenging the House to impeach her so she can have trial at the Senate.
Historically, like the Supreme Court, the Senate has been a defender when our democratic institution is challenged. It has been the voice of reason, fairness and justice, hopefully.
Nene Pimentel is remembered, revered, respected for stepping down as co-presiding officer of the Senate impeachment as soon as the impeachment trial of the then President Erap turned into a zarzuela. Senate President President Koko Pimentel has assured the CJ fair trial. The younger Pimentel faces a tough test. His father’s shoe is a huge one to fill in.
The moves to unseat the CJ via other means, by her colleagues in the high court calling for his resignation, and the solicitor general filing a quo warranto against the CJ only means one thing — this administration is hell-bent on ousting the Chief Justice.
The Administrator of the Supreme Court should focus on making the judiciary bureaucracy work. But the current administrator has been thought as rabble rouser. This time, he joined other justices with “hugot” against Sereno in a televised national fishing expedition in the guise of finding probable cause for the impeachment of the Chief Justice at the Committee of Justice of the House of Representatives.
Marquez was allegedly the officer of the high court behind the “black shirt protest” against CJ Artemio Panganiban and another to protest the impeachment of CJ Renato Corona.
Is Justice Midas Marquez, the court administrator, again behind this “red shirt campaign” which insiders at the judiciary said is meant to dramatize opposition to CJ Sereno and support to the impending impeachment at the House of Representatives and the eventual trial at the Senate?
While it is acknowledged that the impeachment process is both a political and justiciable exercise, we may however remind members of the judiciary to leave politics to the political organs of government.
At the end of the day, whether political or justiciable, the primary objectives of impeachment, as in any other democratic processes, is the cause of justice.
The people have already seen enough of the Supreme Court intramurals and incursions by supposedly co-equal branches, the legislature and the executive.
The majesty of justice is lost when justices allow themselves to be baits when the pawn of the impeachment fishing expedition – lawyer Lorenzo Gadon – proved to be an epic fail.
The members of the judiciary should broaden their views on the matter and focus their energies to strengthen the institution as a vital cog in checks and and balances in government and a last bastion of democracy.
The impeachment of CJ Sereno comes at a time when the Bill of Rights of the Constitution which should limit the powers of the state is being attacked.
Although the least powerful in terms of coercive control of state forces, the judiciary is the most pervasive and invasive to citizens’ rights. It is the only branch of government that can legally suspend the citizens’ rights to due process and the rights to life, liberty and property, and in abridging the right to free speech.
If and when the judiciary fails, it is the people who are exposed to the full coercive forces of the state who will eventually suffer.
Enough already. We have seen enough of Justices with hugot against the CJ, intramurals at the high court and power squabbling. Members of the judiciary should focus on their work and leave the House and the Senate to determine whether the Chief Justice should be impeached and subsequently suffer the penalty of removal from office.