Affirmed Sereno ouster shows 'compromised' SC – opposition lawmakers
MANILA, Philippines – Opposition lawmakers expected the Supreme Court (SC) to affirm its ouster of former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, describing the High Court as “compromised” and a “lackey” of Malacañang.
Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin, Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate, and Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao were among the legislators who opposed the SC vote to uphold the removal of Sereno from office through a quo warranto petition.
“It was fait accompli as we are dealing with a compromised Supreme Court that had their hands tied down by mundane personal interests,” said Villarin, who belongs to the independent minority bloc in the House of Representatives.
The lawmaker said Sereno’s ouster is now a “done deal sealed by Malacanang” which, he claimed, now exercises “omnipotent powers” over the SC. (READ: Senators oppose final SC decision on Sereno ouster)
“It is a consequence of unabashed worship of dictatorial rule where dissent is quashed while still in the mind, never to be spoken. We are in the cusp of legal oblivion where power matters over pure reason,” said Villarin.
He said the 7-member House independence minority bloc will now proceed with its plan to file impeachment complaints against the 8 justices whom they believe violated the Constitution by approving the quo warranto petition against Sereno.
Zarate, meanwhile, says the SC’s latest decision may lead the public to lose faith in the judiciary.
“Ito ay isang maitim na…pahina sa kasaysayan ng Korte Suprema. Dito talagang makikita natin natin na compromised na ang Korte Suprema. At hindi na nakapagtataka na sa darating na panahon, sunud-sunuran ito sa kung ano ang gusto ng nasa Malacañang,” said Zarate.
(This is a dark page in the history of the Supreme Court. Here, we can really see that the Supreme Court has become compromised. And will no longer be surprising if in the future, the Supreme Court will just follow the whims of the occupant of Malacañang.)
“‘Yung tinatawag nating rule of justice ay talagang nalagay na rito sa alanganin. At ‘di natin masisisi ang mga mamamayan na kung sa tingin nila na kahit sa Korte Suprema, kahit sa hudikatura, ay di sila makakakuha ng hustisya,” he added.
(What we call as rule of justice has now become now uncertain. And we cannot blame the people if they think that they cannot get justice from the Supreme Court and the judiciary.)
Casilao, for his part, said the people could no longer count on pro-people" rulings from the High Court.
“While it is active in deciding on political issues favoring the regime, it snail crawls on issues directly hounding the people such as the LRT fare hike, Meralco power rate hike and the TRAIN law. Similarly, no pro-people decision could be expected from the SC,” said Casilao.
He urged the public to continue fighting for democracy.
“On this atmosphere of collusion between the executive, the judiciary and even the legislative, thus, leading to an authoritarian and undemocratic regime, Anakpawis urges the people to take the task of protecting and upholding democracy, basic rights and sovereignty, the very pillars this country is supposed to be founded on, and which the branches are obviously trampling upon,” he said.
Vice President Leni Robredo also made the same call following what she called a "thrust into the heart of our constitutional system." (READ: Robredo on final Sereno ouster: 'Defend what remains of democracy) – Rappler.com