MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen and Spokesperson Theodore Te, took to Twitter to express their dissent from the Supreme Court decision ousting Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Justice Leonen posted on Twitter a shortened version of his dissenting opinion:
This Petition should have been dismissed outright and not given due course. It does not deserve space in judicial deliberation within our constitutional democratic space. Even if the Chief Justice has failed our expectations, quo warranto, as a process to oust an impeachable officer and a sitting member of the Supreme Court, is a legal abomination. It creates a precedent that gravely diminishes judicial independence and threatens the ability of this Court to assert the fundamental rights of our people. We render this Court subservient to an aggressive Solicitor General. We render those who present dissenting opinions unnecessarily vulnerable to powerful interests.
Granting this Petition installs doctrine that further empowers the privileged, the powerful, and the status quo.
A better reading of the Constitution requires us to read words and phrases in the context of the entire legal document. Thus, the general grant of original jurisdiction for quo warranto actions to this Court in Article VIII, Section 5(1) should be read in the context of the provisions of Article XI, Sections 2 and 3, as well as the principles of judicial independence and integrity inherent in a constitutional order implied in Article VIII, Sections 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 of the Constitution." G.R. 237428, Republic v Sereno, Leonen J. dissenting.
He also posted advice for law students, encouraging them to study critically and telling them, "Do not lose your soul."
This was later followed by a series of tweets with snippets of his dissent. (READ: After quo warranto, Supreme Court now vulnerable – Leonen)
Supreme Court Spokespersion Theodore Te, in a rare occasion, also shared his opinion regarding the controversial decision with a straightforward, self-explanatory graphic.
Earlier today, it was Te who faced the media and broke the news of the Supreme Court's decision. – Rappler.com